COLDWATER – Tibbits’ 36th Annual Auction set a new record for the historic theatre, grossing nearly $77,000 toward the annual operating budget.
With the opera house transformed into the Emerald City of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Wicked” fame, more than 350 guests were greeted by volunteers dressed as characters of the famous literary works. Posters and iconic symbols of the Oz stories throughout the theatre, carried the theme and reminded guests of the ultimate goal of the evening—bidding to support the theatre and its programs.
Nearly 500 items were up for silent auction in the art gallery and another 65 were available for the entertaining live auction on stage led by Darren Spieth and Dan Satow, owners of Norton Auctioneers and Spieth & Satow Auctioneers.
Branch Area Career Center Culinary Arts students provided food in the Emerald City theme. The evening’s festivities included raffles, a photo booth and souvenir wine glasses with the Tibbits Emerald City logo. The theatricality of the auction included an opening performance saluting both the classic film and the popular musical “Wicked.” The cast included Randal Hazelbaker, Sarah Odom, Terry Wilber as the Mayor of Munchkinland, Sheila Walrack, Stephanie Burdick, Ken Washburn, David Wynn, Pam Kasprzyk and Mary Gail Stevens. A game with a giveaway bicycle warmed up the crowd.
Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney thanked attendees, volunteers and all who support the theatre. She reminded the audience of the importance of the evening’s event. “This event represents about ten percent of our annual budget.” She added, “Honestly, last year was a challenging year. This is the beginning of our fiscal year and hopefully tonight’s auction will set us on the right path for a strong year ahead.”
Dinners and special experiences highlighted the items up for bid and garnered some very generous donations. High bids for the evening came on the Cadillac donated by Mary Smith and a complete orthodontic treatment for which donor Dr. Baron Whateley offered a second to the alternate bidder. Other top items were two separate dinners donated by Kathy and Rick Merrill and another offered by JR and Jennifer Colbeck. These donors also offered second items to the alternate bidders.
Tibbits Special Events/Development Director Sarah Zimmer said, “I am grateful for everyone who helped make this event such a success—the volunteers who put in tremendous hours, as well as all the donors and bidders. The generosity of this community and their support of Tibbits is inspiring.”
This year’s auction committee included Chair Christine Lewis, Teri Dobson, Leon Kriser, Linda Lintner, Marilyn Ostrander, Samantha Satow, Vena Wade, Sheila Walrack and Zimmer. Office volunteers included Emma Grife, Darene Sargent and Marisue Taylor as well as staff. In addition to these, nearly 100 volunteers helped make the event a success by gathering donations, decorating the theatre, selling raffle tickets or working the night of the event.
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