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Teacup Auction benefits local charities

Alissa Widman Neese • Mar 8, 2014 at 4:03 PM

After 24 years, the Newcomers & Friends Teacup Auction has certainly outgrown its name.

In the fundraiser’s first years, women distributed raffle tickets into tiny teacups, hoping to nab prizes after donating their cash to a good cause.

These days, those teacups are just a tad too small.

Want to donate?

The 24th annual Newcomers & Friends Teacup Auction is 5 p.m. April 4 at the Colonnade Banquet Center.

Tickets for the event are sold out, but to donate a raffle prize or cash, call Donna Keefe at 419-239-7192.

“It’s grown so much in popularity that we have to use buckets to put the tickets in,” said Donna Keefe, Newcomers & Friends Club president.

In fact, it’s so popular, tickets are hard to come by.

This year’s wine-themed event, 5 p.m. April 4, is already sold out a month ahead of time. But there’s still plenty left to do.

Club members are now seeking donations, both raffle prizes and cash, to ensure this year’s Teacup Auction is a success for the 500 women who have pledged to attend.    

“Typically we have over 400 prize baskets to auction off, most of which are donated by area businesses,” club board member Donna Schoen said.

Teacup Auction raffle prizes vary, with this year’s including gift certificates, kitchen appliances, a Dyson vacuum, an iPad and a Kindle Fire. The grand prize raffle, fitting with the wine theme, is a partially filled wine rack, wine art, a wine serving set and a private wine tasting at Piccolo’s Wine Shop on Hull Road.

Funds collected from admission, raffle tickets and a cash bar will be donated to local charities.

“It’s a fun way to give back to the community” Schoen said.

In the past 24 years, the nonprofit Newcomers & Friends Club has donated more than $330,000 to dozens of local charities through its annual Teacup Auction.

The club, formerly known as the Welcome Wagon, is a community service organization comprised exclusively of women.

Organizations that benefited from its Teacup Auction in 2013 include Back to the Wild, Cinderella’s Closet, Serving Our Seniors, Nehemiah Partners of Sandusky, Care and Share, Sandusky Main Street Association and local chapters of the American Red Cross, Kinship, Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.

Many local groups, as well as club members, volunteer their time to coordinate the highly successful auction each year.

“It’s humbling to me to see a lot of the area charities volunteer their time to help make this event come together” Keefe said. “The better we are together, the more resources we’re able to return to them from the proceeds of our successful fundraiser”

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