SWOSU Athletics celebrates successful first-ever online auction

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

The SWOSU Athletic Association‘s 14th Annual Athletic Auction, which was conducted entirely online with bidding open from August 8-29, has come to a close.

The 211 bidders in this year’s online-only event were from 49 Oklahoma cities, 12 other states, and Canada. 1,396 bids were cast on a wide range of 145 donated auction items and experiences.

The Auction is a crucial fundraising activity for all SWOSU Athletic programs with proceeds from the auction going to benefit SWOSU's investment in Athletic Scholarships.

“This is an incredibly challenging year, but as they always do SWOSU’s supporters stepped up tremendously,” said SWOSU Interim Athletic Director Todd Helton. “We are very grateful!”

The Auction requires securing tens of thousands of dollars in underwriting support in addition to the annual event goal of raising tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship support. The SWOSU Athletic Association Directors and SWOSU Athletic Department recognized the unprecedented economic difficulties facing many of the Auction's generous traditional underwriting sponsors and decided earlier in 2020 to move the event to an online format in an effort to reduce event production costs and maximize the fundraising revenues that go directly to SWOSU's student-athletes. Additionally, the Association and Department leaders recognized continued concerns related to large social gatherings in light of the outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Restricted in our ability to host our traditional large gathering and with many of our sponsors negatively impacted by an incredibly difficult economic climate, our staff and volunteers set two overarching goals: reduce Auction expenses by 25% and raise a minimum of $30,000.00 in the online version of this much-loved annual event,” said SWOSU Foundation, Inc. Executive Director Mr. Garrett King. “Thanks to the generosity of this year’s bidders and donors and to the tireless volunteer work of our Athletic Association Board of Directors we are delighted to announce that we reduced fundraising expenses for this event by nearly 50% and raised just under $60,000.00. Those resources, combined with a generous grant from the SWOSU Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees, mean that the Association will be able to continue providing the same levels of scholarship support to SWOSU as it has since beginning the Auction fourteen years ago.”

King continued, “We appreciate so very much all who made this year’s online-only Auction a huge success, and we look forward to returning the Auction to its in-person format in 2021.”

Longtime SWOSU benefactor Pioneer Cellular served as Underwriting Sponsor of the 14th Annual Athletic Auction and provided key financial support.

The event also benefitted from the generosity of Presenting Sponsors including Wright Wradio Network, WestOK Weekly, and United Country Heard Auction & Real Estate.

BancFirst, Debbie Shepherd State Farm Insurance, Evans & Davis Attorneys PLLC, and David & Dianne Hunter all supported this year’s event as Producing Sponsors.

The SWOSU Athletic Association is a subsidiary of the SWOSU Foundation, Inc. The Foundation was established in 1977 to promote philanthropy and distribute funds to support the activities and programs of SWOSU. Located on the Weatherford campus in the historic Burton House, the Foundation currently stewards over $26 million in assets for the benefit of SWOSU. For information on how to support SWOSU's student-athletes and athletic programs through charitable investment contact the Foundation at 580-774-3267 or visit www.SWOSUAthletics.com.

By SWOSU Athletics

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