Cabinet Press Inc., The
October 30, 2009

On Nov. 7, attendees of the ARL's 11th Annual Live and Silent Auction can bid on a one week vacation in a two bedroom, two bathroom condo at the Trapp Family Lodge Condos in Stowe, Vt. from May 15 to May 22.

A New England Patriots football helmet, signed by the 2005 team, is one of the items that will be auctioned off during the Animal Rescue League of NH's 11th Annual Live and Silent Auction in Manchester on Nov. 7.

A 1.75 carat diamond dog tag will be auctioned off during the Animal Rescue League of NH's largest fundraiser on Nov. 7.

What: Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire 11th Annual Live and Silent Auction.

Where: Radisson Center of New Hampshire, Manchester.

When: Saturday, Nov. 7.

Tickets: $50; Must be purchased by 9 a.m. Monday at or 472-5714.

Staff Writer

MANCHESTER — For anyone who's ever wanted to fly to Italy, sit in the fifth row at a New England Patriots game or know what it feels like to be a fighter pilot for a day, the opportunity might not be far away.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire's 11th Annual Live and Silent Auction takes place at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire in Manchester. Tickets will be sold up to Monday morning at 9 a.m. for $50 a person. Tickets can't be purchased at the door.

“It's definitely our largest fundraiser – there's a lot of excitement and energy to the night,” said Robin McCune, the ARL NH's coordinator of events and community relations.

Attendees can bid on travel items including attending the 2010 Westminster Dog Show in New York on Feb. 15-16 with a three-night hotel stay, a seven-night vacation for four adults in a private Tuscan Villa in Manciano, Italy, and spending one week in a two-bedroom, two-bath condo at the Trapp Family Condos in Stowe, Vt. from May 15-22.

For the sports fan, a pair of fifth row tickets for the New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers 1 p.m. game on Dec. 13 are being auctioned off, along with a helmet signed by the 2005 New England team.

Other items include a five-carat tennis bracelet, a 1.75-carat diamond dog tag with an estimated value of $5,000, and the chance to be a fighter pilot for a day.

“When all is said and done, there will be about 400 items,” McCune said.

Last year, 425 people attended the event, raising and a net amount of $270,000. McCune is hoping for both numbers to increase at this year's live and silent auction.

The event starts at 6 p.m. when participants register, receive a bidder number and enter the silent auction. During the silent auction, people locate items they're interested in bidding on and write down how much they are willing to pay. These numbers are visible to all attendees and the bidding continues until around 7:30 p.m. as each table closes in 10-minute increments.

“It's fun because people get into really friendly bidding wars,” McCune laughed.

Following the silent auction, attendees are seated for dinner. A “heads or tails” game breaks the ice to attendees who opted to purchase a blinking paw pin for $20. As the auctioneer flips a coin, players place their hands on their head or their “tail.” The game continues until only one person is left. Last year's winner won airline tickets.

But the highlight of the event to several people occurs last: the live auction. According to McCune, the live auction is also a spectator sport, especially when the bidding amount gets very high. She called this part of the night fast-paced and high energy as things like vacations are auctioned off.

Money from the event will be added to the ARL NH's general funds, while a fund-in-need bidding period will allow guests to donate money to improve kennel conditions. People can also purchase the 2009 ARL NH's second edition Christmas ornament, which contains a picture of beagles Potter and Sophie, for $15. Potter was adopted from the shelter a few years ago and his owner won the right to have him placed on the ornament during last year's auction. The featured animal on the 2010 ornament is up for grabs at this year's auction.

“When you donate, you become a piece of this huge improvement on the shelter,” McCune said.

As of Tuesday, the ARL NH had 218 cats, 47 dogs, six small animals and 11 rabbits.

For anyone interested in purchasing tickets, they will be available until Monday at 9 a.m. online at or by calling Robin McCune at 472-5714.

Donations will be accepted via the same contact information until Wednesday at 5 p.m.

“Everyone who goes says it's one of the best auctions in New England,” McCune said. “It's high energy, people have a great time and it goes to a good cause.”

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