The 2023 Jeans & Jewels Gala was held on May 5th in Saskatoon in support of the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation. The event included entertainment as well as a silent auction, and the live auction of select items was conducted by Weyburn' Winston Bailey.

"They sold almost 800 tickets, and that was $300 a plate, so it's not a cheap fundraiser, but it is well worth it," said Bailey, Broker/Owner of Re/Max Weyburn. 

"Every time this office sells a property, a small amount of money goes back to Re/Max, to go to children's hospitals in western Canada," he explained. "Since 1976, Re/Max has raised, through their agents, over $72 million, I believe, so it's a big number." 

Bailey has volunteered to do auctioneering for the Jeans & Jewels Gala for the past nine years.

"I haven't seen the numbers this year, but I know last year was about $420,000 that night brought in. So it's major," he shared. "There are some major big corporation sponsors, which it takes for something at that elevation, but it's still down to individuals contributing."

He noted that, locally, nearly $8,000 was raised by Jennie Moule and her daughters Myla and Morgyn, who baked 446 chocolate chip cookies to help out with the JPCHF. Read more HERE.

Jennie Moule shared that she was grateful to have been able to attend the Gala this year with her great-uncle Winston.

"I have never been to one before, but have always wanted to since JPCH has played a huge part in our family," she shared. "It was a wonderful experience that I will cherish forever." 

"This year I believe he raised over $70,000 alone just on the live auction," Moule added.

"He is amazing at the auctioneering part as he plays with the crowd and gets them laughing," she said. "The couple that sat at the same table as us kept commenting on how good he was. Winston has a heart of gold and is always willing to lend a hand, but doesn't get enough recognition for it.  So thank you, Uncle Winston!"

The big event on May 5th featured Aaron Pritchett as well as a live auction that featured only seven items. However, Bailey said those seven items brought $46,000. 

For example, there were two 'dressed-up tables' attendees could bid on, and upgrade to, one that featured Saskatchewan Roughriders swag. Another was a golfing trip to California with Jeremy Roenick, and there was also a trip to Cancun, Mexico, and a backyard barbeque event.

"Then there was a lady from Edmonton, an artist, and she started painting a painting that was 46 inches by 32 inches on a canvas, and she painted it in two and a half hours. It was gorgeous," Bailey said. "The doors opened at 5:30, and she started, and at 8:30 it was done, and that was the first item we auctioned off, didn't get quite as much money for this year as they did last year, but we still got $6,500." 

He noted, the artist Giselle Denis has done this kind of live art event for various groups, and in her career has raised $815,000, with a goal to reach $1,000,000.

The largest-ticket item that night raised $32,000 from a 'Choose your own adventure' item donated by the FFUN dealership in Saskatoon. Find the full details on the auction items HERE.

"It's fun doing the auction because you've got a massive room, I've got five or six spotters from the organization there working it, and they've learned to work with me on it, and we got a little better deal. They all had flashlights that you use to marshall in an aircraft. They all had them, so they would just hold this red light up when they got a bid. The area that I'm covering is huge and so it worked really well. That was the first time [we used those]."

While he used to do auctioneering professionally with Kevin Lackey in Weyburn, and he was never formally trained to do auctioneering, he enjoys helping out organizations a few times a year for fundraisers. 

"I tell everybody I went to the '460 school of auctioneering'. That was four windows down in my truck, going 60 miles an hour so nobody could hear me." 

"The biggest thing here is to keep your throat," he shared. "Learning how to use the microphone instead of your voice, so that you can just talk normally and let the mic do the work for you. I give credit to Kevin for giving me a little bit of instruction on how to do it, as I practiced and caught on to it."

He does recommend people go to school to get into the field of auctioneering, but he's glad he's been able to help out when he can.

"COVID changed things a little, but I still do five or six in Weyburn every year, including the Family Place and the golf tournaments, and the Weyburn Youth Centre, so it's just a way of giving back."

Bailey added that he won't take payment for doing this type of work for charity, which makes a difference in so many lives.

Interestingly, Bailey's granddaughter Morgan, who is graduating as a Registered Nurse, has landed a career at the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital.