The annual Boys & Girls Club of Greeneville & Greene County Celebrity Auction is always a very important event for the club, but this year the Celebrity Auction again set a new record, with more than $64,000 raised.
It was the most money the organization has ever raised from a single event, according to Executive Director Scott Bullington.
The auction drew a big turnout for a buffet dinner followed by a live and silent auction.
The auction raised funds for the Boys & Girls Club programs and activities and featured more than 700 items ranging from vacation packages to certificates from local businesses, to memorabilia and sports autographs.
"We really had great participation from our bidders, and we were able to surpass our expectations for our live and silent auction items this year," said Rebecca Tipton, a board member and the co-chairman of the event along with Eddie Yokley.
Many unique items were for sale.
Local restaurants, stores, hotels and other businesses donated certificates, various goods and services.
The top-selling item was a one-week vacation for 10 to "All About The View Vacation House" on Topsail Island, N.C., donated by Steve and Karen Mears, that went for $1,750.
A set of season tickets to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center went for $1,200.
A Tennessee Tiki Deity made by Mark Russell and donated by Artspace 4 Gallery went for $900.
A wine cabinet, handmade by Tom Dubois, went for $900.
A guitar signed by Allison Kraus and Union Station, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bucky Covington and The Oak Ridge Boys donated by Jeff and Christy Ward went for $650.
A Wyndham Resort stay donated by Dr. Daniel Lewis went for $650, and a Pat Summitt autographed basketball went for $500, while an autographed University of Tennessee football helmet from Butch Jones went for $500.
OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE
Other major items included:
* a Johnny Majors-autographed UT football helmet;
* The Bone Fish Experience Meal for eight;
* a Sydney Crosby "Pittsburgh Penguins" autographed hockey jersey;
* a Wingate by Wyndham vacation in North Charleston, S.C.;
* a stay at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in New Orleans;
* a stay and food package to The General Morgan Inn;
* a Peyton Manning Denver Broncos autographed picture;
* and a Snapps Ferry Packing meat package;
Other items of interest included:
* a stay at the Riverside Towers in Pigeon Forge;
* a Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins autographed football;
* a NASCAR helmet autographed by 40 NASCAR drivers donated by Everette and Vanda Scott;
* a stay at the Grand Villas Resort in Orlando, Fla., donated by Eddie and Carolyn Yokley;
* a stay at The Lodge at Buckberry Creek in Gatlinburg;
* a Clint Eastwood-autographed picture donated by Josh Swatzell;
* a wooden bowl set made by Steve Tipton;
* a John Deere kids chair donated by Roberts Furniture, and
* a stay at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa in Las Vegas.
Other prizes included a John Wayne commemorative Effanbee doll donated by T.A. and Carla Bewley; a Princess Diana autograph and stamp set donated by Josh Swatzell; a Derek Jeter New York Yankees autographed picture; a Peyton Manning Tennessee Volunteers autographed picture; a Rose Bowl mega fan pack; a Zike bicycle, donated by Ron Jones and RPC Specialty Coatings; and a stay at the Country Inn & Suites in Nashville.
Bullington, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, thanked "the great board members, celebrity auction committee and volunteers of his organization for pulling together this team effort that made the auction the best net revenue that the club has ever achieved from a special event, just topping the revenue from the 2012 event."
He added, "We could not achieve our continued successes without the efforts of these individuals. We are very fortunate to have such a caring group of individuals to support our communities' youth," Bullington said.
"We had over 700 items up for bid this year," said Ted Bryant of co-title sponsor Summers Taylor and a Boys & Girls Club board member.
"We were very pleased with the most generous bids the club received this year and it was due to the hard work of all the club staff and volunteers that put this event together," Bryant said.
"The people of our community really stepped up to make our event a huge success for the Boys & Girls Club and the youth we serve" he added.
SPONSORS FOR AUCTION
This year's event was title-sponsored by Forward Air and Summers Taylor.
The other major sponsors included: C&C Millwright and RPC Specialty Coatings as the dinner sponsors.
The bid tables were sponsored by Greeneville Federal Bank, Greeneville Light & Power System, and Stowers Machinery.
The event program was sponsored by Takoma Regional Hospital.
Laura Pendleton, a club board member, stated "We are very grateful that the Boys & Girls Club is able to get items from so many businesses and notables from around the globe, and the great local and regional items that complement the auction.
"We could not have the event that we have without this most generous support."
Eddie Yokley, co-chairman and a member of the Boys & Girls Club Board, expressed thanks to "Scott Bullington, Bridget Jones, Cathy Osborne, Chelsey Carter, Tiffany Bowman, Rachel Brown, Aarica Munro, Whitney Marshall, and staff members of the club, and also thanked the many volunteers that helped to make this year's event a success."
Yokley, Shane Carter, Mark Starnes, and Scott Wills volunteered as the evening's auctioneers.
Yokley also expressed thanks to the many volunteers that helped pull items and helped with the check-out, and to Michael Knapp, Chris Oldenberg and the entire Trinity United Methodist Kitchen Crew for the great food provided for the event.
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
Events such as the Celebrity Auction help fund the local Boys & Girls Club activities and staffing.
The school year membership at the Boys & Girls Club is $5 per child, per school year, and $100 for the entire summer program.
The Boys & Girls Club is open to all school-age youth who reside in Greeneville and Greene County.
The Boys & Girls Club serves many youth each year through its after-school and summer programs, school outreach projects and youth sports events.
For more information on the Boys & Girls Club, please stop by at 740 West Church St., call 787-9322 or 787-9334, or visit the club's Facebook page or the club website at http://www.ggcbgc.org