"funds of the society were raised" [REDC]
For some years now, the Baker Street Irregulars have made the Dr. John H. Watson Fund available to all Sherlockians (BSI membership is not required) who wish to travel to New York for the annual Baker Street Irregulars weekend but who may not be able to afford to otherwise attend.
The Watson Fund is a self-exhausting fund - that is, each year the fund is depleted and kindly souls make cash donations in order to replenish it for the following year. Outright cash donations are collected, but there's also an annual raffle as well. Usually a high-value item is donated as the raffle prize and money is raised in that fashion. In addition, there's an auction held on Saturday afternoon at the BSI Annual Reception each year. It's always lively and includes a live auction of many additional items, with the proceeds going to the Watson Fund.
This year, in order to pique some interest early, the BSI is previewing some of the items up for auction. Please have a look at the Baker Street Journal page with the featured auction items. There you'll find the following:
The significance of each of these items, as well as photographs of them can be found on the BSJ site. You must be present to bid on the items in New York, or you may send a proxy in your place.