No noise, no vision?

A woman bids in the silent auction

Last night I went to my first ever “silent” auction. I was a little curious how an organization for visually impaired athletes would conduct a silent auction. I figured, maybe the exhibits would have a recording that says what they are, or possibly you were allowed to talk only if it was to help someone read an item’s description.

Aaron giving a speech

The moment I walked in it was apparent that I had the wrong idea about silent auctions. There was nothing “silent” about this place. It was held at the Redhook Brewery in Woodenville, Washington. There was beer on tap, music, slide shows of CDifferent Athletes, raffle tickets, food, and a bunch of people bidding no-so-quietly on all sorts of sports apparel, jewelry, and memorabilia.

Auction items

Raffle items

The reason I was there was for Aaron Scheidies. He’s a visually impaired athlete suffering from age-related Macular degeneration. Which I discovered last night means that while his peripheral vision still works, he has no center of field vision. When I came in he was explaining how he got into triathlon and how he deals with his impairment (very well). I can’t do his story justice, so I’m going to have him be a guest writer in the near future.

Aaron and Ben

You may also notice that one of my sponsors, Northwave, generously donated to the auction. They gave a sweet cycling jersey, and a pair of the Northwave Tribal triathlon cycling shoes that I wear. Thank you Northwave!

C Different aims to Inspire Educate and Change. As part of the educate, they had an exhibit showing the different types of visual impairments. I couldn’t get a good picture of each of them, but here is the exhibit.

Education booth

Redhook was also generous in allowing C Different to have their fundraiser at their brewery, and half of the beer sales went to support the foundation. That made everyone happy.


Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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