Online auction site Proxibid is using their worldwide platform to attract bidders on a rare and collectable bottle of bourbon, the sale of which will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Omaha. The auction runs February 15-23.
Buffalo Trace Distillery released 200 bottles of bourbon from 1980, 1982 and 1983 to non-profit organizations across the country. The oak barrel-aged bourbon has been packaged in a special hand-cut crystal bottle with the year engraved. Kris Comstock from Buffalo Trace Distillery stated that he expects bottles to raise upwards of $10,000 each.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Omaha applied for a bottle and was awarded bottle number 4 of 50 from the 1983 batch. After they were awarded the bottle, the organization had to decide how to attract the largest market possible in order to sell it for a maximum bid.
“We were looking at possibly raffling it off and we settled on doing on online auction with Proxibid,” said Hunter Samuels, Marketing and Communications director for RMHC in Omaha. “We’re really happy to work with a local company that has a global reach.”
Global reach, hometown roots
Proxibid has more than 4,000 unique auctioneers, asset owners and consignors with buyers from 190 countries. However, Proxibid’s Communications Director, Dana Kaufman said that the company is always looking for ways to stay involved with their hometown.
“As a company, we are really proud of our Nebraska roots and are always looking for ways to support other businesses and non-profit groups in the Silicon Prairie,” said Kaufman. “It was a very easy decision for Proxibid to work with the Ronald McDonald House. We’re really honored that they’ve selected our platform to auction off this bottle.”
The auction is attracting over 200 views a day. Proxibid has reached out to celebrities, promoted the auction on social media, and advertised to their own high-end buyer base in an effort to help RMHC attract attention to their auction from all over the world.
“Our technology and our online bidding platform make it easier for a local company or a local charity to have a global reach,” said Kaufman. “We’re combining all of our resources with Ronald McDonald House to make sure we’re reaching the broadest possible buyer base we can.”
Separate missions but one goal
The mission of RMHC of Omaha is to create and operate programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.
Lindsey Rai Reasner, Executive Director of RMHC of Omaha said that 100% of the money earned from the auction will go to directly to benefit the 20 families they currently have staying in the house.
“It costs the house about $120 a day for every family to come in,” said Reasner. “The more we get, the more families we can support.”
Proxibid is no stranger to supporting non-profits in their community. In the past they’ve done charity auctions for local high schools, art galleries, museums and nature centers. They also encourage their staff attend galas to support their auctions.
They know the importance that reach has on a charity auction.
“We’re able to allow anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection to participate,” said Kaufman. “The hope isn’t that someone in Omaha will be the winning bid, but that through Proxibid’s international reach, [RMHC] will be able to attract a bourbon collector from anywhere in the world.”
A winning collaboration
RMHC in Omaha feels that the collaboration they’ve built with Proxibid is in alignment with their mission of supporting their community. Reasner says that it speaks to the culture of Omaha that RMHC and Proxibid are working collectively towards the same goal regardless of their individual missions.
“It’s about helping families first and foremost, but also about doing it in a way that can be collaborative and effective in the Omaha area.”
Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.