The first ISWNE silent auction was held at Pere Marquette State Park, Illinois, in 2004 to raise funds for the newly-established foundation. More than $2,300 was raised that year, allowing additional editors to receive scholarships to underwrite tuition fees and provide travel vouchers for future conferences. 

Conference attendees are asked to donate items to the sale and make bids. Sale items at the auction are as varied as the people who bring them. Some items include books, wine, beer, hand-made items, vacation packages and even a Green Bay Packers excursion.

$50 is donated to the ISWNE Foundation in honor of the person bringing the item with the highest bid.

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