SpringThing Save the Date1 (002)

Fall has come and gone and I bet you all are wondering what happened to our annual church auction.

After 17 years of a wildly successful Holiday Harvest run by Jay Van Cura, Karen McDowell, and Kate Tannyhill…the baton has been passed to me and I’m changing things up.  So, I’m warning you now…hang on to your (proverbial) hats and join us on our exciting new chapter!

Please save the date—

Saturday, April 8th

for our first annual Spring Thing!

The Spring Thing! will consist of a silent and live auction with the focus on services and social activities/events.
Our goal  for our first Spring Thing!…Help us build and strengthen our community so that the Spring Thing! becomes the driving force for setting our annual social calendars.

Who’s-who so far:

  • I will be co-chairing the event with (the silent, coerced, and lovely) Sara Teppema.
  • It’s no surprise that John Cooperrider is the artistic director. He’s creating a Spring Thing! logo, that we will unveil shortly, and he will use his magical interior design skills.
  • Tim Dvorak will continue as head chef to provide us with culinary treats.
  • The evening’s main entertainment will be The Whiskey Brothers graciously sponsored by Sara Teppema.

We need three things for the Spring Thing! to be a success:

  1. VOLUNTEERS to pull it all together (email me if there’s something you’re especially good at and want to do)
  2. ATTENDEES (think…you, family, friends, and neighbors) to come and have a good time
  3. DONATIONS—we can’t raise money at an auction without stuff on which to bid!

To see recent auction items, personal donations and How to Donate click HERE.

Thank you and I look forward to trying to fill the very big shoes of Jay’s 17-year legacy.

-Jill Jackson



Spring Thing Business Donations

The only way we can make our Spring Thing annual fundraising event (formerly Holiday Harvest) a success is if everyone comes (April 8, please save the date) and we have a catalog filled with things to buy.

The best way to get the excitement back is to become engaged in the process and in your community.  I want us to get business donations from organizations we do business with regularly…a warm ask, not a cold call.  Any place you go where they know your name or face, if you ask, nine times out of ten, they will give you a donation. (Honestly, after you receive your first business donation, it’s kind of addicting to see how many you can get…no pressure!)

The Unitarian Church of Hinsdale is your church.  We count on the money raised to fund 10 percent of our annual operating budget.  It’s a big deal and an important commitment for all of us.

On April 8th, we’ll find out if we were able to pool our resources and make the Spring Thing a success.  I believe we can do it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have stepped up to chair and re-imagine this annual fundraising event.  We’re in this together.

I will do anything I can to help each family unit bring in their business and personal donations.  Please reach out if you need help.  The deadline for all donations is March 25, but the sooner the better.

Spring Thing Business Donation Documents:

  • Spring Thing Introduction Letterthis one-page document includes general overview information about the Spring Thing.  It’s great background for anyone and it may give you so background information when talking with potential business donors.
  • Spring Thing Business Donation, Advertising, and Sponsorship Letter–this two-page document outline the three types of donation options…gift certificates, advertising in auction catalog, and sponsorship opportunities. Please leave this with donors for them to keep; it serves as a record of their donation for tax purposes.
  • Business Donation and Advertising Form–to be completed and returned with the gift certificate or check (advertising or sponsorship) to the UCH representative soliciting the donation or to me

We are excited to announce that will be offering auction sponsorship opportunities for the first time.  Sponsorship gives businesses prominent and featured visibility in our online auction, a color ad in the print catalog, and signage throughout our church buildings.  If you have a close relationship with a business and think they’d be a potential sponsor, please contact me and I will provide you with the form.

The groundwork has be laid…now it’s time to get out there and help fill up the auction catalog with business donations!

If asking businesses for donations is scary or uncomfortable for you, I’ll help you.  Honestly, it’s really easy peasy and if you have a good relationship with the business, they rarely say no.


Newest Spring Thing Donations
Here are some of the amazing donations we’ve received this week: 

  • Sweetheart Cabaret event 
  • $500, real estate attorney at your closing
  • Dynamic Perception Dance Company, $250 birthday party for 10 kids
  • 2, 1-month memberships to Lifetime Fitness
  • Egg Harbor gift certificate
  • Bien Assorti, manicure gift certificate
  • Costco, $25 gift certificate
  • Tips and Tails, dog nail trimming gift certificate

Please don’t forget to pick up some Spring Thing Business Donation forms and letters in the Alice Warren room of on our website and help bring in the donations!