The Watertown Urban Mission hopes to attract a little friendly competition for its upcoming charity auction.
People, businesses and churches are being encouraged to gather gift certificates, toys, household goods and a variety of other items to make generous gift baskets for the live auction, which begins with a preview at 9 a.m. April 20 in the gymnasium and bingo hall of St. Anthonys Church, 850 Arsenal St.
Bidding begins at 10 a.m. that day.
Winners of the competition will receive the inaugural Watertown Urban Mission Basket Award, with a trophy, and bragging rights, according to Andrew G. Mangione, development director.
Last year, St. Anthonys donated a basket for the silent auction, and it was so hearty that we put it in the live auction and it raised $210, Mr. Mangione said.
Building on that this year, the basket that raises the most money will receive the very prestigious WUMBA award. Its always fun to add a little friendly competition.
People who would like to participate can call Mr. Mangione at 782-8440 to confirm commitment to the competition, and then have baskets completed and dropped off to the agency by Wednesday.
Last year, the event raised $7,000 for the missions programs and services, such as Critical Needs, a food pantry and the Bridge Program.
Mr. Mangione said local celebrities, including Paul A. Simmons, Watertown Wizards founder and partner for local concert promoter AMP Entertainment; Joe Roselli, active community volunteer, and Dennis Schneider, uncle of Executive Director Erika F. Flint, will lead the live auction, which will showcase 100 items.
Mr. Mangione said some of the more interesting live auction items include a street vendor hot dog cart, a collection of rose-colored Depression glass, an intricately carved table and a collection of vintage fire helmets from many area fire departments.
The event again will feature some mystery boxes; attendees wont know what is in the them until they open them after bidding.
Since hundreds of items have been collected for the auction throughout the past few months, the mission will host a preview sale April 18 and 19 in its community room, 247 Factory St., for items that will not be a part of the live auction.
During the event, food will be available from a concession stand run by St. Anthonys Mount Carmel Society.