Let’s “Start the Bidding” for Worthwhile Causes
By Dave Friant
It began some 15 years ago when Dean McCurry accepted the request to conduct the calling at his kiddo’s school bingo game. After receiving thumbs up for the effort from a number of attendees, he was asked to be the auctioneer at the school’s auction. No experience brought to the table. No real idea as to exactly what to do. But his enthusiasm and “give it a shot” approach led him to take on the responsibility. The event went extremely well and resulted in the raising of $30,000 from $5,000 a year before.
Such was the first “side thing” part-time/weekend auction calling endeavor that over subsequent years evolved into DM Auction Services. McCurry retired from his Director of Sales position with Western Digital in 2009 and decided to pursue the interest full-time. The
Castle Hills company since its’ inception has been exclusively involved in fundraising auctions
for organizations supporting needs for schools, churches, senior citizens, military veterans, and other non-profit causes. Included in this number was Celebration’s 2018 Halloween Cake Auction which raised money for veterans and their families. Dean is not engaged in cattle or car auctions but focused entirely on benefit auctions.
DM Auctions Services employs 25-30 part-time Auctioneers, Support Staff, Raffle Professionals and 3rd Party vendors (memorabilia-entertainment-event planners-etc.) Various
charities over the nine years of operation have taken in approximately 45 million dollars. McCurry estimates they take the lead on between 75-100 fundraising auctions a year, almost
solely within the state of Texas.
The primary organizer of the efforts is married and the father of three children. His spouse, Gail, works within the group and is a vital part of the talent collection. McCurry is a fullfledged
Licensed Auctioneer (#16260) and has taken the courses necessary to become skilled in his work. As indicated by a service organization Special Projects Director with whom DM Auction
Services rendered its’ services, McCurry is able to motivate the crowd and is “beyond dynamic” when conducting live auctions.
During my interview with him, it became apparent that McCurry is in the midst of a rewarding season of life; one in which he can exercise his desire to “be a difference in the lives of people.” He indicates, “If I can help others to create a better life for themselves and others, I find it to be a positive contribution to the world. It’s a feel-good job and I’m comfortable in doing it.” For the older segment of the population so often found to be searching for continued relevance, McCurry suggests a “get involved” and “supportive” approach to life. “Seniors have been there and done it,” he states. "Seniors can easily get involved with charitable organizations as so many worthwhile causes need support."
Dean is very personable and maintains a make things happen approach regarding the efficiency of his company. He is intent on providing well beyond the norm service to non-profits and causes which serve those in need. During our question and answer session, McCurry provided several seconds of his bid-calling chanting voice. He’s really good. It’s a developed proficiency that is rarely used to the fullest extent during events. The key element in bid-calling for benefit auctions is a easy to understand auctioneer’s chant, not necessarily speed.
McCurry views his father as an inspirational figure in his life and the primary influence towards being of assistance to others. Lonnie Dean “Primo” McCurry died at the age of 90 in 2010. “Primo” was an All-American football player at Texas Tech University. He was additionally a Marine and fought against the Axis Powers in Iwo Jima-Guadalcanal-Bougainville and Guam!
DM Auction Services prides itself on providing full- service attention to all elements of a fundraiser. McCurry makes it a point to meet with the key people involved before proceeding.
Desired is a complete understanding of the needs of the nonprofit group. Combined with experienced auctioneers and support staff is top-notch bidding technology. The company
offers trips, concerts, music, celebrity appearances, memorabilia, and even a colorblind Christian speed painter as add-ons during the festivities. These are the elements that define DM Auction Services and make them a sound choice for non-profit auctions.
“I think human beings have an innate desire to help each other. And whether you’re in medicine or anything else, if you see someone that you can help. . . you get a gratification from doing it. In fact, I think that is perhaps the most important fabric that holds the society together.” -Dr. Michael E. DeBakey