Cayden Goldberg, a 14-year-old West Hartford resident and cancer survivor, decided to have a silent auction for his birthday to raise money for the Oncology and Hematology departments at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
By Gillian Hixson
Parents picking up their kids from day camp, members going for a swim, and family and friends of Cayden Goldberg gathered in front of the JCC Swim Club in Bloomfield on Friday, Aug. 4 to place their bids in the silent auction dedicated to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center that Cayden and his family organized.
Cayden, who was diagnosed with cancer when he was only six months old and will turn 14 in a few weeks, decided to have a silent auction to raise money for the organization that saved his life.
“It was his idea,” Cayden’s mom, Alanna Goldberg, said. “He said ‘We should get a bunch of stuff and have a silent auction for CCMC.’”
Though Cayden has grown up doing fundraising, as his mother explained, this was the family’s first time doing a silent auction.
“It’s a neat experience,” Goldberg said. “It’s really great to see a variety of businesses from the local area donate items.”
To procure items to auction off, Goldberg posted in the “Friends and Neighbors of West Hartford” Facebook group as well as on her own personal Facebook page and was surprised with the outpouring of support, as her dining room suddenly became full of donated items for the auction.
She joked that she is excited for her dining room to not be as cluttered now that the auction is taking place.
Along with the social media outreach, Goldberg and her son went around to local businesses asking for items to auction off.
“The outpouring was incredible,” Goldberg said. “Everything was donated.”
The items being auctioned off encompassed a wide range of products, including gift cards and products from many West Hartford businesses.
There were gift cards to Sweet Frog, Crown Supermarket, and the New Old School of Music; a Rodan and Fields gift bag; a personal shopping session at LuLaRoe; artwork by Kindspin Design; a doTerra Essential Oils gift bag; and four tickets to a Yard Goats baseball game, just to name a few.
Each auction item had its own clipboard, which specified the fair market value as well as 20 percent above market value at which the item could be bought right away. Bidding began at 20 percent of the item’s fair market value and was capped at 20 percent over fair market value.
There was no monetary goal for this event, Goldberg explained. Any item not sold at the end of the auction will be brought to Cayden’s oncology doctor who will then distribute the items among the patients in the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Oncology Department.
“It’s a neat experience,” Goldberg said. “Cayden went around to everybody asking for donations and will write all the thank you notes.”
Goldberg said many of the business owners Cayden visited reminded him of the timeless saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Cayden truly embodied this thought by putting his idea into action and working towards bettering the livelihood of those facing childhood cancer.
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