Southwest Tennessee Community College

Date: March 21, 2005

For more information contact: Pat O’Brien (901) 333-4021 / Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023

BATTLE OF THE BIDDERS AT PIANO AUCTION TAKES A STRANGE TURN: EVERYBODY WINS!
Written by: Pat O’Brien


AMRO Music donated a $4,495 Henry Miller piano for the Steve Katz-AMRO Music Piano Excellence Scholarship Fund Concert and Silent Auction. When two bidders battled to the end, employing every usual silent auction strategy to the hilt, it came down to a slow-motion pencil, leisurely completing the winning bid – just as time was called. Finally there was one very happy bidder, and one very disappointed bidder.

Minutes later, AMRO, in a Solomon-like decision, announced it was giving two pianos to the College, if the second bidder would meet the final bid. She did, and the outcome was joy in bid-land, where many of the participants were watching, and wishing both could somehow win.

So, the winners were: John and Amber Yobak and Pat O’Brien Amber Yobak is a student at Southwest. O’Brien, an employee at Southwest, and her son Dan both are piano students of Steve Katz.

And of course, the really big winner was the Piano Excellence Scholarship Fund, which now will receive the proceeds from two pianos to use for scholarships.

“We are very thankful to AMRO for their generosity in making our event a double success, and to the standing room only crowd for supporting our scholarship program,” said Dr. Steve Katz. “And we also want to thank all the bidders who made our auction a great success.”

Yobak will receive her Associate of Science degree next year with a double major, history and business. Meantime, she has been nominated as a Tennessee Board of Regent (TBR) Ambassador and will be a liaison between TBR and Southwest in helping determine new ways and directions for the College. She and her husband have three young children, and want a good piano “in case there is a Mozart amongst them.”

O’Brien is coordinator of Advertising and Media Relations in the Community Relations and Marketing department. Her son is an excellent pianist, while she is just beginning her training. Their old upright, built in 1921, had developed a definite “plink” in the high notes, among other problems, and they wanted a new piano because “I need all the help I can get,” states O’Brien.