Center Stage auction raises $186,867

February 29, 2000|By J. Wynn Rousuck

Sunday's radio auction for Center Stage raised $186,867, the second-highest total in the auction's 23-year history, according to coordinator Sydney Wilner, who called the event "a wonderful success."

The top items were travel related. A 10-day Caribbean cruise, donated by Holland America Line Westours and Crestar Bank, fetched $4,100. The inaugural seven-day cruise of the Crown Dynasty from Baltimore to Bermuda fetched $2,300, and a pair of round-trip United Airlines business-class tickets, good for travel anywhere in the world, fetched $3,640.

A highlight of the 16-hour auction was the appearance of Mayor Martin O'Malley, who was on the air for a half hour. The mayor plugged items including the use of his Orioles skybox, which went for $1,750. In speaking of the skybox, O'Malley emphasized that the box doesn't belong to the mayor, it belongs to the people of Baltimore, who are supporting Center Stage.

One of the fiercest bidding wars erupted over four tickets to "The Lion King," offered by frequent Center Stage actor Robert Dorfman, who is currently playing the role of Zazu in the Broadway musical. Valued at $340, the tickets, which include a backstage tour conducted by Dorfman, sold for $1,400. The winning bidder was a family who plan to attend the show with their 15-year-old son, who has starred in several plays at Gilman School.

Among the more unusual items was an on-stage outfit worn by Christine McVie, keyboard player and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac. The elaborately beaded teal blue jacket, skirt and matching suede boots went for $300.

Proceeds from the auction, which is sponsored by The Sun and broadcast on WBAL-AM, benefit Center Stage's operating fund. In its 23 years, the auction has raised a total of $2.2 million.

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