Known as the”‘Auctiontainer,” a nickname given to her by Alice Cooper, Letitia Frye is a leader in her industry for giving each event her innovative flare that has become the trademark of her career. Although her impressive resume speaks for itself, it is her passion for helping others, and the path she has overcome to find happiness and success, that truly sets her apart.
“I have dealt with the loss of my first husband, becoming a single mother with no means to support my kids,” Letitia says. “I’ve endured pain from a horrific accident and suffered further loss of a loved one and an ended engagement due to those circumstances. I have learned through it all that while pain isn’t optional, how you handle it is. You don’t have to stay in pain.”
Letitia credits philanthropy for her ability to find strength and overcome adversity.
“One of my most meaningful endeavors has been mentoring women. I was in the same place that they were at the time—little money, no hope—but I had the mindset that I will not stay in this state. They told me that my belief that they could overcome is what helped them. I say the shift occurred when they started believing in themselves through motivation and mentoring.”
Letitia says that leaving her footprint on this earth is very important to her—something that will alter human behavior or change the course of humanity for the better.
“As a hospice volunteer, I would assist with dementia patients. There was a man who I spent six months with. He was an accomplished businessman father, grandfather and war veteran who instilled so much wisdom in me. I often left thinking, ‘Who helped who in the end?'”
As a youth camp counselor, Letitia was often asked why she wanted to be a counselor at her age. She would reply by telling them it was hopefully going to make her a better parent by listening, being their friend and being a safe space for them.
“My kids faced dark times after losing their dad; my daughter will tell you that had I not learned so much from those kids, she wouldn’t be here today. I went at it as a peer, not a parent, and learned how to better parent as a result.”
Letitia credits the many amazing people she has met along the way for teaching her that grief is dealt with differently by everyone, and giving back helps maintain balance.
“Tom Shadyac, who directed such films as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was also CEO of the fundraising arm of St. Jude. He, like myself, suffered a massive injury in an accident. He once asked me what was taken from me in my accident and I answered, ‘balance.’ But did I have balance in my life before my accident? Not really. So that wasn’t taken from me. I was becoming more balanced through devastation by only picking up the pieces I wanted to pick up and moving on.”
Letitia has recently penned a book called No Reserve, which will be out in late summer 2020. Her inspiration to become a writer stemmed from writing a book that she needed to read.
“Reserves are put in place during auctions, and I thought, what reserves do we put on our lives? We need to leave things to chance and be open to opportunities. We need to give back and ‘lean out’ by surrounding ourselves with diverse people and experiences.”
With so much on the horizon, Letitia has a very special way she is celebrating her 50th birthday this year.
“I have chosen 30 people in my life, and each day of November, I will participate in an act of kindness, then write about it to them in a birthday card. They will know that they are my greatest gifts and because of them, this birthday happened.”
“Get through life’s flames by giving back. You find a sense of purpose and joy, self-worth, and you gain perspective—things are not as bad, and you aren’t as weak as you believe. You’ll find a tremendous reclaimed sense of yourself through the help you can provide for others.”