By Cecilia Salamone

Staff Writer

On Nov. 13 and 14, DOWS (Denison Operating Working Staff) held its annual silent charity auction in the Burton D. Morgan. Founded in the 1970s, the purpose of DOWS “is to create and develop an atmosphere of social and/or educational harmony among all university personnel,” according to current president and registrar associate Sandra Cook.

The first president of DOWS was Mary Ann Malcuit, and the organization is currently made up of a variety of university employees (membership is open to all supportive operating staff).

According to Cook, the officers of the organization are elected for two-year terms, with the president and treasurer elected on even years and the vice president and secretary elected on odd years.

Free and open to the public, the silent auction, Cook said, is held yearly and “brings members of the Denison community together to raise money to help local families in need during the holidays.”

The auction is made possible by contributions and donations from Denison community members, organizations, and local businesses. “Last year DOWS raised $6,500 and was able to assist sixteen individual families with the proceeds,” Cook said. “It is our desire to make the holiday season a bit brighter for people in need. This year we had an increase of about $2,500.”

It is a fun “tradition” that every year Seth Patton, the vice presidnet for finance, will win a batch of Betty Harris’s chocolate-chip cookies.  This year they went for $250 for a tin.

“What I like most about the auction is that it is all done with a great sense of humor. The auctioneer has a quick wit, and everyone plays along. This year, for example, Yadi Collins (registrar) accidentally bid a lot of money on the wrong item… and when she won, she accepted her fate with total good grace and humor. I’m sorry for Yadi’s pocketbook, but things like that keep it fun,” shared Bill Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of communication.