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Vol 5 No. 30- April 13, 2005

‘Affaire’ reaps record amount

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH – The Anna Maria Island Community Center raised what it hoped for in program funds for next year at its annual Affaire to Remember dinner and auctions last Saturday night, but a “cash call” by Ed Chiles brought the capital construction fund much closer to its goal. A record $775,633 was raised for both funds, before Affaire expenses, according to figures released Tuesday morning.

The auction raised $188,000, which was in the center’s budget, according to Community Center Director Pierette Kelly.

“Forty percent of our budget has to come from grassroots fund raising, “ she said. “That means we have to raise $338,000 a year and we have to work hard for it. We budgeted the auction to raise $188,000 and we did it, and every penny over that went to the capital construction fund.”

Stuart Moon holds the golden retriever puppy he first donated, then won back during the Affaire to Remember auction Saturday night.

Chiles issued a call for donations to the center’s capital construction fund during the live auction and raised at least $417,633. That, along with $170,000 in matching donations by two anonymous benefactors and money previously donated means they are within $500,000 of the capital construction goal of $2.5 million to refurbish and expand the center.

“I was very impressed with what went on,” said center development and publicity director Aida Matic-Chaffee. “The people showed up and were very willing to give to the cash call and to bid on the auction items.”

Chiles began the cash call from the audience.

“We could see some magic happen tonight,” he said after emcee Scott Dell introduced him.

“I invite you to match the challenge. If you would like to donate $25,000, please stand.”

Developer Steve Noriega was the first to stand and he said his partner, Robert Byrne, would match his donation.

“There’s $50,000 apiece for the community center,” Chiles said. “We’re closer to making the magic.”

Noriega and Byrne were the only two to answer the call at $25,000, so Chiles moved to $10,000. At that point, several people stood waving their auction paddles. They included Carol Barnett, a part-time Holmes Beach resident who is the daughter of Publix Supermarket Founder George Jenkins and president of the Publix Foundation, Island benefactor Chuck Lester, A-Paradise Real Estate owner Bill Alexander and Denise Johnson. When he named developer David Teitelbaum, who was standing, he issued another challenge to him.

“I tell you what, I plan on donating $10,000,” he told Teitelbaum. “If I double my pledge, will you double yours?”

Teitelbaum agreed as the audience applauded.

Others standing included Realtor Steve Bark, Fay Boyd, builder Brent Whitehead, Realtor Darcie Duncan, Rex Hagen, Richard Freeman representing Island Real Estate owner Frank Davis, Anna Maria Oyster Bar owner John Horne and builder Reed Mapes, who donated with his partner, Jeff Wilson. Chiles’ mother, former Florida First Lady Reah Chiles, doubled her $10,000 donation.

Chiles repeated the request for those wanting to give $5,000, $3,000, $1,000 and $500 to stand.

As Chiles put it at the end of the cash call, “We all made some magic tonight." Kelly agreed.

“I tend to believe in miracle and I pray for miracles,” she said. “I don’t know whether you believe in miracles or if you believe in magic, but Ed Chiles was certainly my hero Saturday night.”

Two bid items that raised a lot of attention were a golden retriever puppy, donated by Stuart and Trudy Moon and a vest originally sold three years ago that keeps reappearing at the auction.

After the puppy tore at Trudy Moon’s heartstrings, she placed the winning bid of $2,000 and took it back home with her.

Carol Barnett became the first female owner of the vest with a bid of $2,500. Ed Edwards, who owned the vest for the past year, placed it on her and congratulated her.

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