In my experience I have dealt with every kind of contesting you can think of. Raffles, competitions, silent auctions, and on and on. In the spirit of fairness and to maintain integrity, I have always insisted that any employees or volunteers are ineligible to win. Think about it, how bad does it look for a person selling 50/50 raffle tickets to win? Looks pretty shady, doesn't it.

My wife and son were at a silent auction over the weekend. My wife entered for a few prizes including one that my oldest son Ben was really excited about. With one minute to go, one of the volunteers outbid my wife as her son was telling her, "Mom, it's not a big deal. Don't worry about it!"

As my wife was bidding on the prize again, she noticed that the volunteer hadn't even completely filled out her bid entry, leaving several spaces blank. Someone running the silent auction said "Okay, bidding is over!" That volunteer ripped the sign-up sheet away from my wife, who hadn't finished filling out her bid.

Fenech Pictures

My son was heartbroken, almost in tears, and walked out of the room with his head hanging low. When they got home and told me what happened, I was furious! We got a call from the auction saying that my wife had won a few prizes.

She thought that because the volunteer didn't completely fill out her bid that we might have won that prize. Then as I explained to her, the volunteer most likely finished completing her entry after she ripped the sheet away, but before she turned it in. And guess what? She did!

After my new found ability to stand up for what's right, I went to claim their prizes for them. When I arrived, I asked to speak with whoever was in charge. I was directed to two lovely women. I explained to them what happened, and even knew exactly which volunteer I was talking about. I explained that the woman's kid wasn't that excited about the prize, that the mother was hell bent on winning, no matter what!

They apologized for the situation and made everything right. When I got home and told Ben that I took care of it and that he won after all, he gave me the biggest hug I've ever gotten from my son!  Not only did standing up for one of my family members feel great, but that hug felt even better!  Not to mention he cracked my back!  Thanks, buddy!