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Heritage Hospice Tea and Treasure charity auction goes online

The seventh annual Heritage Hospice Tea and Treasure charity auction is this week — but without the tea.

Instead of treating auction-goers to an extensive spread of fancy finger foods and hot tea served from silver pitchers at the afternoon auction, it will be a week long, online event, said Director of Volunteer Services Wendy Hellard.

COVID-19 restrictions forced the Hospice volunteers to rethink the auction, she said. And the online auction was the way to go. It’s a great way for the public to continue their support for Heritage Hospice, Hellard added. “This is new to us.”

Thankfully, auctioneers Johnny Durham and George Coomer with V.I.P Auction Company are handling the details, Hellard said. For the past five Tea and Treasure charity auctions, the auctioneers just showed up for a few hours and sold items, she explained.

But this time, they’ve spent several hours “walking us through the online auction process. I knew nothing about online auctions before this,” she said.

V.I.P auctioneer George Coomer adjusts an item to be photographed for Heritage Hospice’s online charity auction which opens up for bidding on Nov. 5. The online event takes the place of the 7th annual Tea and Treasure charity event. (Photo by Robin Hart)

On Monday, Coomer spent the day photographing individual items that were being sold online. “We’re tickled to death he was willing to do this for us,” Hellard said.

Online bidding begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5 and ends at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. To see the entire catalog of items and to register to bid, go to www.VipAuctionKy.com

On Sunday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 7 p.m. those with the winning bids may drive by and pick up their purchases at Heritage Hospice headquarters on 120 Enterprise Drive in Danville. Items can also be packed and shipped to your home, Hellard said.

Hellard said there are more items for sale than ever this year. And there’s been a tremendous increase in the number of “premiere” items too.

One of the premiere specialty items is a skywriting gift certificate that is valued up to $4,500.

Nathan Hammond, of GhostWriter Airshows, is headquartered at the Boyle County Airfield outside of Junction City and travels all over the U.S. performing skywriting stunts for corporations, businesses and advertising agencies. In fact, he just returned from California where he flew for Lucky Charms cereal creating the marshmallows figures in the sky.

He said he’s donating a skywriting event to the local charity auction because, “It’s good to give back to your community.” He added that he was glad to do something to help out Heritage Hospice.

The gift certificate includes him writing up to nine characters that are a mile tall and about 10 miles wide, he said. On a clear, bright blue sky day, his writing can be seen for miles away.

If he wrote something over the center of downtown Danville, more than half of Boyle County residents could see it, Hammond said.

A Natural Stone Marten full-length fur coat is one of the premiere items for sale at Heritage Hospice online charity auction. (Photo by Robin Hart)

Other premiere items in the auction include three, full length fur coats, one of which is a Natural Stone Marten, Hellard said. Anyone interested in purchasing a coat may go to Heritage Hospice office and try them on.

There will also be a signed Murano glass vase, and a men’s and ladies’s Bulova watches.

Other items include holiday dish ware, movie passes, Ninja air fryer, admission to Shakertown for eight, fabric art, wreaths, pottery, fitness tracker, jewelry gift certificates and much more.