Having moved to the Zanesville area over two month's ago, I've had the chance to meet several people in town as a weekday reporter. I have to say, I was entirely blessed to have met Ron Bucci this afternoon for a story on the upcoming Carr Cake Auction.
Ron is the kind of man with a special energy about him. It's no wonder he's been helping to raise money and auction cakes at this event for the past twenty seven years. With this year being the 28th Annual Cake Auction, WHIZ recruited me to meet up with him this afternoon to see JUST WHAT makes the event such a success. I left the General Graphics store with a full understanding.
"You drive off the energy, the energy of each other. The bids, the comradery at the mall, you almost have to be there to feel the sense of it and everything," said Bucci. "The most important thing is that 100% of the proceeds stay right here in Muskingum county. It goes to the Carr Center. It goes toward ten wonderful programs that just help and enhance everything."
I've never been to the Carr Cake Auction, but I've seen fun reports in the past by my good colleague Courtney Wheaton. When I asked Bucci what to expect and what will be new this year as opposed to last, he responded, "every year is different in some respect, but it's basically the same. They say if it's not broke don't fix it. It's not broke so we're not gonna fix it," he laughed. "We never set a goal, so no matter what we raise, we're going to be tickled to death with that. We'll take what ever the community gives, and we're going to show them how well we spend their money by putting it into the Carr Center and enhancing the programs that are already there."
Bucci says it takes four elements to make the event a success: bidders, buyers, bakers, and most importantly, sponsors. Along with Stoey, Steve and himself, as well as other announcers, it's important to keep people informed, especially entertained, but Bucci believes there is a special way to raise funds at the event.
"The key to raising money," he folded his hands, "and this is for anybody out there that's trying to raise money. This has been the secret that I've always used and I think it will work for them. If I can touch your heart in any way at all, I can get to your pocket book. And that's what we try to do at the Carr Cake Auction. We try to touch your heart and hope we get to your pocket book. That's the easiest way to extract money, because we've touched their heart in some small special way."
Very clever, I thought. Ron went on to tell me about his family and his relationship with the town. It's very easy to see, within the first five minutes of meeting him I knew, Ron is a people person.
"I'm 70 years old," he said thoughtfully, then began again,"how much longer I can do this I don't know. You know, I'll do it as long as I can, because I love it. I'm passionate about it. Anything I do I get passionate about. I think you have to do that to be somewhat successful and it's the people that make me want to come back. I mean the response," he got animated. "It's like throwing a ball against the wall and it comes right back at you. We put it out there and then the people come right back. I've agitated brothers, sisters, companies, competitors and stuff," he laughed. "It's the spirit of the thing. It's all for a great cause."
In closing Ron shared with me something he and his wife Mary Ann live by; "We get much more back when we give, then what we really have given, because we're helping others" he said.
I left the General Graphics store with a little recording, a small story, and new trinkets...but a huge understanding of life, passion, family, and generosity--all from one man, in one small town.
I guess there is honest truth behind this quote...
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen"
-Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden
Of course we're expecting big things to happen at this years Carr Center Cake Auction! Remember that tomorrow is cake check in day. The Carr Cake Auction kicks off this Thursday at 8AM and will be broadcast live on AM1240.