February 14, 1997

Star power drives silent auction bidding

Star power drives silent auction bidding

It¹s a lucky thing that most skiers possess a good pair of sunglasses, because those stepping into the silent auction area at Country in the Rockies were immediately confronted with a glare to match even the glare of bright sunlight off a snowy mountainside: that of a red sequined gown worn on stage by Tammy Wynette.

And this show-stopping item was not the only piece of celebrity apparel apparent at the auction, which, like the Country in the Rockies event itself, benefits the T. J. Martell Foundation, the music business charity that funds the Frances Williams Preston Laboratory at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center.

There were a pair of jeans, formerly belonging to, and autographed by, Mindy McCready. There was a bomber jacket signed by Gary Chapman, a stage outfit worn and autographed by K.T. Oslin and a pair of boots (size 10-1/2) autographed by John Michael Montgomery.

Mindy McCready was also represented in the non-clothing department of the auction, with an autographed, more-or-less life-sized cardboard stand-up. Other objets d¹art up for bids included two limited-edition framed and autographed Patty Loveless lithographs, several original artworks by Nashville artist Doug Williams, and an autographed and framed John Lennon lithograph.

The Lennon lithograph was only one of the non-country items up for bids. There was a framed award autographed by Rod Stewart, a CD collection of Stax Records/East Memphis music, and boxed sets by, among others, Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon, Perry Como, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

Sports memorabilia were also prominently represented at the auctions, with an autographed baseball from Bert Blylevin, a Troy Aikman jersey, passes to the Charlotte 600 stock car race, and, in a synergistic confluence of music and sport, a golf bag used and autographed by Vince Gill.

And for those afflicted with wanderlust, both the silent auction and live auction on Saturday night, the final night of the event, provided ample opportunity for getting away from it all while helping the cause of cancer research at Vanderbilt.

The silent auction featured trips to Lake Tahoe, the Grammies in New York, Santa Fe, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

The live auction provided even more firepower, destination-wise, with a seven-day cruise in the Caribbean, a trip to Milan and Florence, Italy, Paris, and Switzerland, among others.

The live and silent auctions raised more than $100,000 for the T.J. Martell Foundation.