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34th Annual Tibbits Auction raises over $60,000

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Nearly 300 guests celebrated “An Evening in Paris” at Tibbits Opera House Saturday at the theatre’s 34th Annual Auction which grossed over $60,000 towards the general operations of the theatre.

The theatre was decorated in French-themed decorations including Impressionist posters, flors de lis and the Eiffel Tower. Guests met mimes and a juggler as well as Napoleon, Marie Antoinette and other French aristocrats. The event included food catered by the Branch Area Career Center Culinary Arts students, beverages, plenty of socializing and plenty of bidding with more than 600 items donated. New items included a give-away basket at the start of the live auction to get the crowd warmed up as well as a successful wine pull offering a chance to win a bottle of wine valued anywhere from $10 to $100.

The live auction began with a welcome from Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney who pointed out the opera house with its beautiful new French Second Empire façade is even older than the Eiffel Tower. She said, “I may be partial but I think our building is prettier.” Delaney went on to thank all of the guests, the volunteers, the committee and all of the businesses and individuals who showed their support of the theatre through their donations.

Darren Spieth and Dan Satow, owners of Norton Auctioneers and Spieth & Satow Auctioneers, served as auctioneers for the event which was fast-paced and entertaining. High bid for the evening came on 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. Total raised from items donated by these three donors alone was nearly $16,000.

Tibbits Special Events/Development Director Sarah Zimmer said, “I am grateful for all of the volunteers who helped make this event such a success 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 under Zimmer’s leadership included Diane Newby, Teri Dobson, Lori Groholski, Linda Lintner, Vena Wade, and Sheila Walrack. Office volunteers included Darene Sargent, Marisue Taylor, Pam Kasprzyk and Judy Custer. In addition to these, nearly 100 volunteers helped make the event a success by gathering donations, setting up the displays, selling raffle tickets or working the night of the event.

(courtesy Tibbits Opera Foundation)