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Great buys attracted a large turnout to Sebastian Chamber auction

SEBASTIAN — This year’s Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce Lifestyle & Media Auction at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort attracted the largest turnout in its 17-year history. 

Approximately 150 people attended the event, in hopes of being the lucky bidders on $50,000 worth of donated silent and live auction items. “It’s a good mix between media packages and lifestyle items, the new element added this year,” said Beth Mitchell, SRA Chamber Executive Director.

“The 45 items Wes will auction were chosen based on their value and those we thought would generate the most interest,” added Mitchell, referencing County Commissioner Wesley Davis, who was the guest auctioneer for the live auction.

One of those highly anticipated items was a chance to fly with renowned stunt pilot Corkey Fornof in a LoPresti Fury Aircraft.

“Corkey is a world famous movie stunt pilot,” said RJ Siegel, LoPresti Aviation CEO.  “He was involved with all the famous movie aerobatics.  He taught Harrison Ford how to fly in the movie Six Days Seven Nights, and in Face/Off with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, he actually crashed the airplane through the hangar with no special effects.” 

And, while the Fury sport aircraft is designed for stunt maneuvers, Siegel assured that the level of aerobatics would be up to the winning bidder.

Radio personality Hamp Elliot was the Master of Ceremonies at the event, which also included a buffet of tasty hors d’oeuvres, music by Mike & Kayte’s Acoustic Pop Tour, cosmetic makeovers by Pamela Bennett, and a salsa performance by Monica Narro and Oscar DeUriarte, students at the 14th Avenue Dance Studio.

Some bidders, like Idea Garden’s Donna Roberts, had their purchasing strategy down pat.

“It’s like being a Sam’s Club buyer; you have to know your prices to know if it’s really a good value,” said Roberts, who attends the event every year.

Beverly Paris of Paris Productions chaired the event and was pleased with the response to the addition of the lifestyle element.

“We needed to switch it up a bit and do something fun and exciting,” said Paris.  “It definitely brought more attention to the Chamber and it attracted several new members.”

The event is the Sebastian Chamber’s major fundraiser, annually auctioning off advertising opportunities, donated by local media and promotional venues, to businesses and organizations who want to increase their exposure in the marketplace. {igallery 264}

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