Silent auction marks 20 years as foundation benefit

Many auction items are already pledged, but more donations are needed for the 20th silent auction benefiting the Texas Newspaper Foundation. 

Items will be on view and bidding will be open during the 140th Convention & Trade Show trade show Thursday evening, Jan. 16, and Friday morning, Jan. 17, at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Convention Center and Spa in Galveston.

The Texas Newspaper Foundation was approved by the TPA board at the June 1974 convention and the first meeting of TNF directors was held June 22, 1974, when past TPA president Don Coppedge was elected president. Former TPA Executive Director Lyndell Williams was registered agent.

According to the July 1974 Texas Press Messenger, the foundation’s objectives are to encourage the advancement of freedom of the press and freedom of speech and to promote “education, study and scientific research in all fields relating to the press.” 

At the time, TPA President Glenn Sedam said he could envision the foundation “financing and conducting specialized seminars in the fields of advertising and newspaper management” as well as cost studies and readership surveys. 

 Mike Hodges, who succeeded Williams as TPA executive director in 1998 and also serves as registered agent for the foundation, said the silent auction was established at the 2000 convention as a regular fundraising event for the foundation. The first auction raised $6,157.93 for what was then called the Texas Community Newspaper Project to provide educational programs for new and mid-career journalists. 

Many of these programs were hosted by journalism departments at Texas colleges, particularly Texas Christian University. The workshops and seminars sponsored by the foundation, including those held since 2009 at the Texas Center for Community Journalism at TCU, are supported by funds raised through the annual silent auction and the Robert Burns Memorial Golf Tournament, as well as regional press association fund raising events. 

Items of all kinds have made past auctions successful, including collectibles and home décor items; sports paraphernalia and memorabilia; regional culinary treats and local agricultural products such as Texas-grown olive oil, wine and honey; books; newspaper-themed fashion accessories; and wall art. 

Members may send their auction item donations to TPA Executive Director Mike Hodges (shipping/mailing address is 8800 Business Park Drive, Suite 100, Austin Texas 78759) or bring them to the conference on Thursday, Jan. 16.

 Members who cannot attend the convention are welcome to send donations to the TPA office as well. It’s a great cause to consider for regifting less-than-loved Christmas gifts. 

For more information, contact Hodges at mhodges@texaspress.com or 512-477-6755.