NEW YORK (ACNI) – On Wednesday, Oct. 7, LiveAuctioneers will provide Internet live bidding for a charity auction benefiting Housing Works, the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States. Since 1990, this dedicated nonprofit has provided life-saving services, such as housing, medical and mental health care, meals, job training, drug treatment, HIV prevention education, and social support to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.
The Oct. 7 sale – the first live auction ever to be conducted by the charitable group – will feature 56 lots containing 60 early American prints, including dozens by Currier & Ives. The prints, hand-selected from a donated corporate collection of 300 prints, include affordable examples estimated at $100-$200, as well as others that are expected to fetch as much as $600-$1,000 apiece. All profits will benefit the excellent programs administered by Housing Works.
David Thorpe, director of communications for Housing Works, said he and his colleagues have high hopes that the upcoming sale will raise their profile beyond the local community and serve as a role model for other cities.
“Since 1994 we have held ‘window auctions,’ in which people can go online and view items in the windows of our nine area thrift shops, then place an e-mailed or in-person bid,” Thorpe said. “These shops have become a very popular institution in New York. They look more like boutiques than thrift shops, and because all the funds go to homeless people with HIV, the community responds with new merchandise every day. Now we are working with LiveAuctioneers to take it to a higher level. The auction world doesn’t really know us that well, so this is a great way for them to find out about what we do.”
Thorpe said the inaugural live and Internet auction on Oct. 7 is “a trial balloon” for Housing Works. “If it goes well, we’d love to do more in the future.”
To add a special touch to the inaugural auction, a 6 p.m. VIP cocktail hour with celebrity appraisers will be held immediately prior to the 7 p.m. sale at the Housing Works Gramercy Thrift Shop, 157 E. 23rd St. between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue. The party is being hosted by longtime Housing Works volunteer and renowned appraiser Kathleen Guzman, who also will serve as auctioneer during the sale.
Guests paying $50 admission will be able to chat and mingle with Guzman and some of her fellow Antiques Roadshow appraisers – including Daile Kaplan, Nicholas Lowry, Eric Silver and Joyce Jonas – and be treated to champagne, light hors d’oeuvres and sweets from Martine’s Fine Chocolates of Bloomingdale’s. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at www.housingworks.org/earlyamericanprints.
LiveAuctioneers’ CEO Julian R. Ellison strongly supports the efforts of Housing Works and has thrown the full weight of his company’s promotional force behind the Oct. 7 auction debut. “We at LiveAuctioneers are dedicated to the concept of public service and have assisted dozens of nonprofits and charities in their auction fundraising efforts,” he said. “By providing a group like Housing Works with the all-important Internet live-bidding connection they require in order to reach an international audience of buyers, we help them to maximize their profit potential and increase the number of individuals who can benefit in the long run.”
For additional information on the auction or the programs available through Housing Works, call 212-645-8111. View the fully illustrated catalog for Housing Works’ Oct. 7 auction and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at https://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/19739.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE