May 23, 2008

'Friends of WSIU Fantasy Auction' is June 7

by Monica Tichenor

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- More than 200 items are up for bid next month during the 19th annual Friends of WSIU Fantasy Auction in the SIUC Student Center Ballrooms. The festivities start at 6 p.m., Saturday, June 7.

The annual event is a fund-raiser in support of WSIU Public Broadcasting.

The items up for bid include trips to the West Indies, the Bahamas and Grenada; tickets to the 2008-2009 Southern Lights Entertainment season at SIUC's Shryock Auditorium, St. Louis Cardinals' games, and concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Blue Man Group. The auction also features the works of local artists -- including a wall sconce from Roberta Elliot of the Velvet Hammer in Cobden, a peridot and diamond ring by Traci Rogers of Gem & Jewelry, a sculpture by Stewart Wessel, and a landscape photograph by Keith Cotton.

Funds raised at the auction not only support local and national PBS and NPR programming, they also help WSIU provide vital education and community outreach services that impact the lives of thousands of people across the region, says Lane Hudgins, WSIU Friends board member and public broadcasting enthusiast.

"WSIU is not just programming, but community involvement and educational support," she said. "It is information, entertainment, and a resource for many people and children in our community. WSIU is SciGirls, the Raising Readers Literacy Initiative, and the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest. It is Ken Burns' The War, Jane Austen on Masterpiece, and Putumayo World Music on WSIU Radio. By attending the WSIU Fantasy Auction, I can support all that WSIU offers to my family, my community, and me. Plus it is always a wonderful evening with friends, and it is always fun. What could be better?"

The evening starts with cocktails and includes a dinner buffet complemented by regional wines and a signature dessert -- Martha & Mary's Chocolate Pecan Pie. There will be two silent and two live auction rounds. Mark Kennedy of Murphysboro is serving as auctioneer.

Tickets are $60 per person, of which $25 is considered a charitable donation, or $480 for a table of eight. John Forbes of Forbes Financial Group and Dr. Zahoor Makhdoom of Southern Illinois GI Specialists, LLC, are auction sponsors.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Laura Cobin at 618/453-4287 or Or visit and select the auction link to make reservations and see updates on new and exciting auction items.