By Mike Stoll
Special to The PREVIEW
The 25th edition of the Auction for the Animals is right around the corner. This year’s Silver Anniversary Gala celebration takes place Friday, Aug. 23, at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The annual auction is the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs’ major fundraiser of the year and always features a wide array of incredible items to bid on in both the silent and live auction portions of the evening. This year is absolutely no exception.
Is a picture worth a thousand words? Try out this year’s new online auction preview feature and decide for yourself. Go to www.humanesociety.biz and click on Benefit Bidding in the auction promo section of the main web page to view photos and descriptions of all the items in both the silent and live auctions. It’s a wonderful way to identify ahead of time awesome auction items for yourself and great gifts for family and friends. Don’t want to wait for the auction to start your bidding? You can bid on items online until 5 p.m. the day before the auction. The highest online bid on each item will carry over to the start of the silent and live auctions the night of the event.
Here’s a taste of what you can preview online or see first-hand the night of the auction: How does a getaway to the Amalfi Coast sound? Win a trip to Praiano, Italy, for up to four people and experience a six-day, five-night stay in a two-bedroom apartment with sea-view terraces. Trip includes a private Amalfi lemon tour and private sunset cruise on the Amalfi Coast. Or how about a seven-day, six-night trip to the museums and canals of Amsterdam, including a Van Gogh walking tour, a Heineken experience and a hop-on hop-off canal boat tour; or immerse yourself in Scottish history and castles with a seven-day, six-night trip to Edinburgh; or if Flamenco shows, sipping sangria,and taking a gourmet tapas walking tour is more to your tastes, win a seven-day, six-night trip to Barcelona.
Prefer domestic travel? Bid on any of the following: New York City and Broadway entertainment, Las Vegas golf and show package, New Orleans dinner jazz cruise and cooking class, Palm Springs shopping spree, Scottsdale golf and spa getaway, Sedona outdoor adventure jeep tours, or a trip for up to eight in a three-bedroom villa at a resort and spa in SoCal. Get more information on both foreign and domestic trips by visiting the Benefit Bidding page at www.humanesociety.biz.
Already planning a trip to California wine country? Bid on a two-night stay at a cottage in Sonoma, Calif. The cottage is the former writing retreat of famed poet and essayist Maya Angelou and contains memorabilia of the author.
Would you like to adorn yourself or loved one with exquisite jewelry? The live auction will include three stunning diamond and ruby pieces. The necklace, earrings and bracelet are each accompanied by a written appraisal. A reserve minimum bid price applies for each piece. Or, for that special someone who has always wanted to design their own one-of-a-kind jewelry, bid on the opportunity to work with a jeweler to design your own unique piece with a value up to $3,500, while enjoying lunch and champagne.
Other wonderful jewelry items include a gold dragonfly pendant and matching earring set from a goldsmith and a golden bells necklace and earrings from a renowned and collectible costume jewelry designer whose pieces adorned celebrities like Joan Crawford, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lucille Ball, the duchess of Windsor and the dancers of the Ziegfeld Follies.
For the music lover or collector of rock and roll memorabilia, the live auction features two great items. How about a BC Rich Warlock guitar autographed by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Kiss? The Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night guitar is tastefully mounted and framed for display. Or, bid on an awesome framed performance photo autographed by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame, with certificate of authenticity. Bring two memorable pieces of rock and roll history into your home.
Know a photography enthusiast? How about a Sony RX100 VI digital camera from the Cyber-Shot RX Series? The camera is brand new and includes an accessories package. Know a history buff? Bid on “Gallon’s Gettysburg,” a framed montage of prints depicting the Battle of Gettysburg from a renowned contemporary civil war artist. This auction item also includes four authentic civil war infantry cap and cavalry hat reproductions. Know someone who truly appreciates hand-carved wood art? Bid on a stunning custom carved, rough-edged walnut bowl by a local wood artisan.
Looking for some fun and unique gift packages? Check out the Pagosa Springs and Durango date-night packages that include dining, lodging and activities. Or, head out for a girls weekend away with lodging, activities and spa passes for four.
For the avid outdoor person there are fly-tying and fly-fishing gear and equipment and a fun package of car camping gear. Other silent auction items include fine jewelry from local businesses and private collections, ski passes, lodging and dining opportunities, and a huge selection of gift certificates and gift baskets from area merchants.
For gift-giving ideas, check out the array of gift baskets complete with adult beverages and accessories. There are also great gift certificates from local professional services ranging from veterinary, medical and dental care to therapeutic massage and personal styling to computer and website design and maintenance. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a special treat for yourself and do some early holiday shopping for friends and family, too.
All this exciting auction fun is happening Friday, Aug. 23, at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The festive evening features a delicious seated dinner and dessert, along with a selection of fine wines, great beers and soft drinks from the cash bar. Tickets are $50, available only in advance. The auction has sold out the last five years, so don’t delay. Any remaining tickets may be purchased at the Humane Society administration office and thrift store or by calling 264-5549.
Community Center doors will open at 6 p.m. Festivities will begin with the silent auction followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and then the live auction. Live music will be provided by the Tim Sullivan Band, and Thad McKain will be the evening’s emcee. Lloyd Cooper will be our professional auctioneer, ably assisted by local auction spotters Mike Branch and Mark Crain.
This year’s auction is our Silver Anniversary Gala, celebrating 25 consecutive years of community auction support for the shelter dogs and cats. Dress is Pagosa fancy (jeans are OK), so bring a smile and your dancing shoes, and be ready to enjoy good company and good food in support of our local animal shelter.
Tickets for the third annual Raining Cats and Dogs Raffle will also be for sale prior to and at the auction. Raffle tickets are $25 or five for $100. One winning ticket will be drawn during the live auction portion of the evening and the winner will receive one-third of the raffle ticket proceeds. Last year’s winner received over $1,600. The balance of the ticket proceeds benefits the cats and dogs at the shelter, providing a much-needed boost to cover the costs of shelter operations. For additional raffle information, please call 264-5549.
The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs serves our community by providing homeless and lost animals with temporary shelter and care until they can be reunited with their owners or an adoptive family can be found.
We also operate the Humane Society thrift store downtown which serves the needs of so many in our community by offering low-cost and high-quality gently used household items, clothing and much more. The success of the annual Auction for the Animals is essential to the Humane Society’s mission of providing a safe haven and quality care for over 700 temporary animal residents each year.
The auction also supports our many community programs that assist people and pets in need, including low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter, financial assistance for emergency veterinary care, aid to senior citizens and their pets, and our feral cat trap and spay program.
Please plan to attend one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year in support of a great cause. Our local Humane Society does not receive any funding from the Humane Society of the United States, American Humane, the ASPCA or the United Way. The animal shelter relies on revenue from private donations, our thrift store and fundraisers such as the Auction for the Animals to create a safe haven for animals in need.
Make sure to go online at www.humanesociety.biz and preview all the wonderful auction items – and remember, if you won’t be able to attend the auction, you can still bid online. For more information on the event, please contact the Humane Society at 264-5549. See you at the auction Aug. 23.
By Mike Stoll