Monday, March 3, 2008

Dolphin Scholarship Auction

In any given submarine home port, there are a few big ticket events you can count on each year: the Navy Birthday Ball in October, the Submarine Birthday Ball in April, and the Dolphin Scholarship Auction sometime in the winter. Saturday night was the Dolphin Scholarship Auction here in Pearl Harbor.

For those who aren't familiar with this tradition, here's a quick explanation. The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation gives scholarships to the children of submariners and those who have supported the submarine force (submarine bases and submarine tenders for example). From the DSF website:

Beginning in the 2007-2008 academic year, Dolphin Scholarship Foundation will award 137 scholarships of $3,250 per year to each Dolphin Scholar. Each recipient may potentially receive a total of $13,000 for up to four years of undergraduate study. The number of new awards granted each year is determined by graduation and attrition of current Dolphin Scholars. Dolphin Scholarship Foundation is proud to have awarded in excess of 6.6 million dollars to almost 1000 students attending universities and colleges through the United States.

The two biggest annual fund raisers for DSF are the cartoon calendar and the auction.

For the calendars, every year they have a contest for people to draw submarine related cartoons, and the top 12 winners are put into the DSF calendar that they sell in the fall. Several years ago they published a nice hard-bound book of the cartoons - you can find it listed on Amazon here.

For the auction, every submarine homeport has a charity auction in the late winter / early spring. The local Submarine Officers Wives Club (SOWC) solicits donations for both a silent auction (for items valued less than $500) and a verbal auction (for items valued more than $500). Traditionally, each submarine wardroom puts together a themed-package and donates it to the auction. The evening of the auction is usually a pretty big event and a big deal.

This year's theme in Pearl Harbor was A Night on the Red Carpet and was made up to be like a night at the Oscars. It was really well organized - my compliments to the SOWC ladies who organized it.

The silent auction had a bunch of nicely framed classic submarine movie posters, paintings, crafts, and gift certificates to local stores, restaurants, and attractions.

In the Silent Auction, one of my JO's bought a ginormous painting of a submarine doing an emergency blow. I'm not sure where he's going to find space to hang it in his townhouse, but then, I know I've got more stuff to hang on my walls than I have walls to hang them on, too.

For the big ticket items, the most coveted is the 2-Star Party - wine tasting and dinner with the admiral at his house on Ford Island while being served by the CSP N-heads (O-6 dept heads). My wardroom pooled our money and put a bid on it, but we didn't win. Some of the other items in the verbal auction were:

- A really nice framed print of USS WAHOO in her final resting place in the La Perouse Strait north of Japan. Granted, it was a little morbid, but it was really well done. It ended up selling for $800!!

- A paintball party (admission for like a dozen people and all the equipment and paintballs you needed), there was a very nicely stocked humidore.

Aside: Note that many of these package deals you see at the Dolphin Scholarship auctions are for a group of around 15 or more people so that the members of a wardroom can chip in and buy a party for their wardroom to do together.

- A very nicely stocked 50 bottle wine fridge that went for like $900.

- There were a couple of packages that included a room at the Turtle Bay resort for the night of the Submarine Birthday Ball (April 19th). LW and I sure would like to get a room at the hotel that night so we don't have to drive all the way back from the northern tip of the island, but they want like $240 per room and that just seems a little too steep for me. I wonder how much a cab ride would cost?

- A nice, patriotic, hand-made quilt that went for like $1300.

- A couple of golf related items like a set of custom golf clubs and a day of golf at a nice course on the island.

- A round trip fare for two on the Super Ferry to Maui and a rental car on the island.

- I think the theme I liked the most in the verbal auction was the USS KEY WEST's "Casablanca" package. I forget all the details of the stuff in their package, but the theme was based on the movie Casablanca, and it included a nice dinner at a local Morroccan restaurant for like twenty people.

Aside: I had never seen the movie Casablanca until fairly recently. It's one of my CO's favorite movies, so we watched it in the wardroom one night underway. It was actually pretty good, and now I understand why it's such a "classic." It was also interesting hearing how many famous one-liners that are part of our everday culture come from that movie.

Anyway, LW has been sick and had a fever, so she stayed home while I went to the auction Saturday night. I had to leave the auction early anyway in order to go to work, so I didn't get to see how much our package went for or who won the 2-Star party with the admiral. I was glad I went for the little bit that I got to see though. Like I said, it was very well organized and excuted by the SOWC.


Nereus said...

Sounds like they made some $$$ for a good cause. Being a "Rag Hat" I never had the chance to go to a Scholarship Auction. But the school my little one attended while we were on island was a non profit so we held a similar event. It was always fun and there were quite a variety of things to bid on. The O Ganger Sub Ball is going to be at Turtle Bay this year? Wow, What is with the break in the traditional Hawaiian Hilton venue? The 3 Enlisted Balls I went to were at the Hilton, I wished they had some other place on Island to hold it, But I believe the Hilton was the Largest Room for the $$$.

blunoz said...

Nereus - This is the first time I have been someplace where they hold a separate officer submarine birthday ball and enlisted submarine birthday ball. The enlisted submarine birthday ball is, in fact, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (very nice place!). I get the impression this is the first time they're having the officer ball at Turtle Bay, but I don't know where it has been in the past.

In all my previous home ports (Groton, San Diego, Norfolk), there has just been ONE submarine birthday ball for all to attend. Then again, there are THREE squadrons of submarines and a LOT of submarine support type commands here, so I can guess it's gotta be pretty big even split officer and enlisted.

Anonymous said...

Our balls in KB were split too. Its strange going to the TriService MilBall here since its so small comparatively speaking.

Miss doing the DSF auction...soon enough though. Its a hoot watching wardrooms get riled up and bid against each other for stuff! The Red Carpet theme is cool and I bet it got pretty interesting with the theme.

Thanks for the bike trailer advice. As soon as hubs gives the nod, I am going to get the Schwinn.

Corey said...

The officer ball is huge and when we were there it was at the Hilton next to the Hale Koa. I was surprised to read they moved it up to Turtle Bay.