St. Joseph School’s celebrity auction

Written by
Scott Cornell
For the Poughkeepsie Journal

MILLBROOK – From a jacket worn by Conan O’Brien to a Bette Midler autographed CD, anyone interested in celebrity items will want to check out St. Joseph School’s celebrity auction from 7 to10 p.m. Saturday.

It’s the first time the school is hosting this type of event, board member Kim Delventhal said. She is head of the planning committee with the school’s Home School Association.

“The association is constantly working on ideas for fundraising events,” Delventhal said. “Parents from the committee obtained the items mostly by contacting local celebrities who have second homes in the area and asking if they would be willing to donate something they signed.”

Donation requests sent on school letterhead were also honored by NBC Studios, Giants Stadium and various television shows.

“We were very surprised that many people had a contact to someone, somehow who was well-known,” Delventhal said. “A lot live in the Millbrook, Amenia, Connecticut area, too.”

Inquiries resulted in an extensive list of celebrity items to be auctioned – from sports memorabilia to signed photos and clothes. Attendees can bid on items such as a Kenneth Cole handbag signed by the designer; a Swiss Army watch worn by Kyra Sedgwick, star of the television show “The Closer;” VIP tickets to the game show “Wheel of Fortune;” a “Friends” DVD set signed by the show’s executive producer; items from “The Today Show” signed by the hosts and sports memorabilia from the New York Giants and New York Mets.

Children’s books signed by Katie Couric, private dance lessons and numerous autographed photos of celebrities will be available. Local artists will showcase their work, Delventhal said.

A parent of former St. Joseph’s students will act as auctioneer. Like Delventhal and the rest of the planning committee, the auctioneer is volunteering.

While the most expensive or sought-after items will be auctioned live, everything else will be on tables as part of a silent auction.

Winners will take their items home that evening. Silent auction items include a massage, a facial, handmade baskets, blankets and truffles, as well as goods and services from local merchants.

“Catholic schools are mostly supported by their parish and do not receive state or federal funding like public schools,” Delventhal said. “So we need to raise a lot of our own funds to help keep the school running.”

Admission is $10 and includes wine and appetizers.

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