Smith Opera House auction gavels in success

Lights! Camera! Auction!, a first-ever fundraising event for the Smith Opera House on held on Saturday, November 7 raised over $24,000 for operations for the Geneva theater.Thirty-two art pieces donated by artists and collectors were offered through raffle, silent auction, and a live auction at the event. The Hessney Auction Company took charge of the live portion of the evening, with Joseph Hessney and his daughter, Carrie Hessney, splitting the action from the podium.Artwork being offered ranged from paintings new and old, furniture, sculpture, art prints and photography. Several pieces received absentee bids from individuals unable to attend the auction in person.The Hessney Auction Company works the live auction portion of the Smith’s successful Lights! Camera! Auction! on Saturday night. Photo Credit Jan ReganIn addition to raising funds for general operations, the Smith added an auction lot designed to raise money for purchase of “follow spots,” specialty stage lighting that the Smith frequently needs to accommodate performances there. “We have always had to rent these lights when a show needed them,” noted Kelly Bradley, the Smith’s Executive Director. “Owning the lights would allow us to save this cost, and to add add the professionalism the lights offer to every show we present, not just to those acts that ask for them in their contract.”The Hessney Auction Company added the need for spot lights as a “Fund the House” lot, and raised over $5,000 for their purchase. The Smith will be able to acquire two follow lights for the stage.The organizing committee included Jan Regan, Mitch Wilber, Sally Webster, Mara O’Laughlin, Vinny Aliperti, Joan Grela, Kelly Bradley and Joe and Carrie Hessney. For the night’s festivities Billsboro Winery, Lake Drum Brewing, and Meyer Farm Distillers donated beverages and Simply Sweets Bakery provided desserts.Harpist Hannah Haines, a 14 year old player from Farmington, performed from the stage during the auction preview.In House Design, Jan Regan Photography, The Frame Shop and Hessney Auction Company were sponsors of the event.

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