What a bargain….. $750 for ‘absolutely nothing’
An exuberant participant at a charity auction lunch in Wellington has nabbed what may questionably be the bargain of the decade – paying $750 for a package containing absolutely nothing.
The enthusiastic bidder – who wishes to remain anonymous – was quick to repeatedly throw up his hand at the Vintners’ Lunch charity auction held at Trentham Racecourse on the weekend. The function raised $67,000 for Te Omanga Hospice in the Hutt Valley. The buyer paid for his bid on the night.
Auctioneer Hayden Duncan from Bayleys Realty Group which sponsored the gourmet fundraising event, said he was astounded at how much the lot for ‘absolutely nothing’ finally attracted.
Among the other lots on auction was an Air New Zealand return trip for two to Australia, a Mitsubishi Black Diamond refrigerator, driving the latest model Mercedes Benz at Boom Rock, a Porsche racing experience at Manfield, Tana Umaga’s 100th game shirt for Wellington, and a night at the Bolton Hotel in Wellington.
“It was the last auction of the day, and fair to say, there had been a fair bit of wine consumed, so participants were certainly getting into the swing of things. We’d pulled in some excellent value from the earlier auctions – in many cases exceeding their retail value, but realising that all proceeds were going to an exceptional cause,” Mr Duncan said.
“Then we had the auction for ‘absolutely nothing’. In effect, it’s a straight donation. I thought we might get a couple of hundred dollars, but when it whizzed through the $500 mark I thought, ‘wow’. Then when it settled at $750 I could hardly believe it. There are certainly some generous people out there who recognise the excellent work being done by the Te Omanga Hospice.
“The buyer was joking later that he could honestly go home to his wife that night and tell her he bought ‘absolutely nothing’ at the auction… which is true,” Mr Duncan said.
Vintner’s Lunch organising committee member Vanessa O’Reilly of Bayleys Wellington said some 200 guests attended the $150-a-head charity luncheon - which featured a seven course meal supported by some of Wellington’s leading restaurants and caterers. Dishes were created by Nosh, Duke Carvell’s, Gusto, Boulcott Street Bistro, Trentham Gardens, Kaimai Cheeses, Janus Bakkerij and Matterhorn.
Te Omanga Hospice chief executive Biddy Harford said the generous donations and funds raised from the Vintners Lunch would help support some 560 patients who utilise the centre’s services and facilities.
“All contributions through ticket sales and the auctions will directly provide for the care and support delivered to patients and families on the hospice programme of care by our specialist, professional staff,” Mrs Harford said.
“I particularly want to acknowledge Bayleys as the key sponsor for this event and the Wellington Racing Club for providing the venue.”
Caption: Cranking up the bids on behalf of Te Omanga Hospice - Bayleys auctioneer Hayden Duncan.