Everybody has a chance to dream

Possible Dreams crowd. Photo by Ralph Stewart
Going once, going twice - auctioneer Rick Lee coaxes bids from the celebrity-packed crowd in 2005. File Photo by Ralph Stewart

Posted August 3, 2006

This coming Monday, August 7, longtime auctioneer Art Buchwald, having cast fate aside, returns to the podium of the Possible Dreams Auction with fellow auctioneers Susan Klein and Rick Lee. For 28 years, the auction has been raising funds for Martha's Vineyard Community Services.

"Art has been an inspiration throughout his 25-year tenure at the podium, and this year he amazes us all with his enthusiasm, creative spirit, and good humor," said James Shane, auction committee chairman. "He corrals all his friends to the effort, too, and we're know we're extremely lucky to have such a loyal and generous group of supporters who make this happen."

According to information provided by event organizers, there will be 50 dreams to buy when the gates at the court of the Harborside Inn open at 3:30 pm. Sports fans will have a wide array from which to choose, including an up-close and personal encounter with the Boston Celtics; the Mercedes VIP treatment at the Australian Grand Prix; tickets to the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos with a private tour of NBC at Gillette Stadium; the Vineyard Dreamers Cup golf tournament for 24; Red Sox vs. the Kansas City Royals with a bat signed by Big Papi and a Curt Schilling-signed jersey; Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New York Giants in their classic gridiron rivalry; and seats behind the dugout at Yankee Stadium to see the Yankees vs. Detroit plus a game bat signed by Johnny Damon.

Dreams for the child in your life include a sneak preview of the new Arthur movie, "Arthur's Missing Pals," and a trip to your school by Arthur creator Marc Brown; lunch with Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog; and an original lullaby by Disney composer Fred Mollin.

Music lovers can bid on "Madame Butterfly" at the Metropolitan Opera; a private serenade by Carly Simon; and a sunset sail with Livingston Taylor aboard the historic schooner When and If, with renowned boat designer Nat Benjamin at the helm.

The literary in the crowd have their pick of dreams with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Tony Horwitz and Geraldine Brooks; Michael Pollan, ("Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals"); and author and famed attorney, Alan Dershowitz.

Anyone who's attended the auction in recent years knows these dreams don't often come cheap - a personal song session with Carly Simon sold twice one year, for $82,000 each. Other dreams routinely sell in the tens of thousands of dollars, all for the best of causes. But the Possible Dreams Auction organizers - ever mindful of the economic disparity between many year-round residents and summer folk - have strived to level the playing field by introducing two new features to the auction. For the cost of a $100 raffle ticket, one lucky winner and their guest will enjoy an all-expenses trip to watch PGA golf on Maui, with the full Mercedes VIP treatment, or they can choose instead to take $10,000 in cash.

The Possible Dreams Online Auction offers up another 50 dreams, including a guitar signed by Stevie Nicks; lunch and a painting lesson with master artist Ray Ellis; a ride on the Goodyear Blimp over Los Angeles; and a humorous speech written on your behalf by the Island's own comedy writer, Marty Nadler.

Possible Dreams Auction, Monday, Aug. 7, gates open 3:30 pm, bidding begins at 4:30 pm, Harborside Inn, S. Water St., Edgartown. Online auction follows live auction, August 7-21.

For information, visit possibledreamsauction.org or call 508-693-7900 x 374.