On Sunday, March 18, the 8th Annual Boston Bruins Charity Auction benefiting the Boston Bruins Foundation was presented by TD Banknorth and took place at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
The amazing evening featured exciting silent and live auction items, terrific door prizes, raffles and mystery balloons sold by the decked out Boston Bruins Ice Girls.
Guests arrived at 5:00 p.m. and had the opportunity to mingle with each one the Bruins players, coaches, and members of management, as well as #9 himself, John 'Chief' Bucyk, while enjoying drinks and dinner.
This face time with the Black & Gold allowed for guests to look over the countless silent auction items ringing the huge room, including a private wine tasting, a pair of Red Sox/Yankees tickets delivered with a Daisuke Matsuzaka signed baseball, a myriad of game used Bruins equipment, a framed autographed Bobby Orr Jersey and much, much more!
The live auction kicked off with a video highlighting the Boston Bruins Foundation's many charitable events and the team's many goodwill efforts in the community. Fans applauded images of Bruins players visiting children in local hospitals, dropping off toys to the needy, and visiting area schools.
Then came the live auction, and much of the night's most anticipated festivities began in earnest.
The item that received the highest bid was a Bruins license plate numbered "30" in honor of Bruins Goaltender Tim Thomas
. The winning bidder donated $5,500 to ensure he would ride in style with #30 emblazoned in red on his Mass Bruins plate.
Another item that was subject to some furious bidding was "Show and Tell" featuring Bruins rookie Phil Kessel.
This one-of-a-kind item included a ride to-and-from school in the Bruins HUMMER plus an autograph session with the class and goodie bags.
The bidding was so hot for this item that Kessel (on stage) decided he would do two more school visits, turning a one-of-a-kind item into a charity coffer bulging three-of-a-kind experience -- all thanks to the generosity of the 19-year old forward!
Like a goalie pouncing on a puck, auctioneer Danny Flynn took Kessel's cue and quickly jumped at the chance to offer the item to the top three bidders for $3,000 a piece!
"I couldn't believe how high the bidding was getting," said the always-humble, and usually quiet Kessel. "Once it got up to around $3,000, and the bidders were still going, Danny leaned over and asked if we could double up the package.
"I said, 'Why don't we triple it?'
"I thought it was only fair, plus the money goes to a great cause," said the B's rookie.
Other live auction prizes included a private, fully catered, cruise for 12 people on an 87-foot yacht ($5,000), the chance to attend a Red Sox game with Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara
($4,500 for two separate bidders) and a once in a lifetime chance to hold a sleepover for a group of kids in the Bruins locker room ($1,800).
Bruins players were seen bidding on many of the great silent items, with winger Chuck Kobasew capturing a handful of the items, including a Tom Brady signed ball and a Patriots signed jersey.
"I have my own fundraiser back home in Canada and I think these items would be a big hit, so the money all goes full circle," said Kobasew, who chuckled and added "It doesn't hurt the wallet so much when you look at the great work the Bruins Foundation is doing with kids."
Bruins defenseman Jason York was the winner of the "Say Cheese!" live item, which offered the winner a chance to have their kids in the next Bruins team photo.
The veteran NHLer was the winning bidder for $1,600 and York's daughter Alexandra and sons Jack and Matthew seemed very excited about the opportunity to take a team photo with their Dad and the rest of the team -- especially since they had to miss school the next day to take the picture!
All in all, the 8th Annual Boston Bruins Charity Auction was an overwhelming success, raising almost $140,000 for children's charities.
A special thank you from the Bruins Foundation and the Boston Bruins to all in attendance and to those who supported this great cause.