Bid on Blue Auction Raises Over $395,000 for Financial Aid

A restrike of a Vintage 1903 Andover/Exeter Football Poster, a dinner conversation with Juan Enriquez ’77, the best-selling author and an art and cuisine tour in Assisi, Florence and Rome were of the many items sold in the Bid on Blue Auction.

The Bid on Blue Auction raised approximately $395,000 for the financial aid budget at Phillips Academy.

The online bidding began at noon October 14 and closed at noon on November 3. After registering with a credit card on the Bid on Blue web page, bidders could participate in the auction.

The on-campus auction took place in the Smith Center on November 5. Phillips Academy alumni, parents and faculty that were invited to the Bid on Blue event had a school-provided dinner and afterwards participated in a silent and live auction.

Although the event did not have a specific monetary goal, the purpose of the auction was to raise money for financial aid funds, such as funds for need-blind admissions, a program that ensures that a students’ financial background does not affect their admission to Andover.

In total, over 750 people participated and 85 percent of the items were sold. The most popular iitem was Shelby Cobra 1966 Replica Track Car in Andover Blue, which was sold for $10,100 after a competitive live bidding between a bidder and a bidder on a phone.

Head of School Barbara Chase came up with the idea for the event and communicated her interest in an auction that would bring together the community with the Alumni Affairs Office.

Janet Cathcart, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs and Parent Volunteers, said, “This was something she [Chase] very much has wanted to do because it was a way of bringing a very diverse and global community together around one activity, which is difficult to do.”

Bidders from around the world, notably from the United Kingdom, Scotland, Costa Rica and China, as well as many from states such as New York, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and California, participated in the online auction.

Over 460 people were registered as online bidders, bidding on more than 150 items listed on the website.

In addition, launching parties were held in New York, Los Angeles and Shanghai to celebrate the launching of the Online Auction website.

The on-campus silent and live auctions provided a different experience for the bidders. Matt Noyes ’96, meteorologist and weather reporter for New England Cable Network, and Mark Efinger ’74, Instructor in Theater and Dance, were co-emcees, and updated and entertained the bidders during the silent auction. James Bakker ’71, and a professional auctioneer, helped run the live auction.

The auction prizes varied in category, from a personalized tour of South Africa with Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty and Instructor in Chemistry, and Vuvu Maqubela, Instructor in English, and a vacation trip to the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, to two tickets and backstage tour to any Lion King Production and an autographed Yogi Berra photograph. All of the items were donated by alumni and parents of the Andover community.

Other popular items included Andover memorabilia, such as old Commons chairs and eggcups, which were sold within a price range of $500 to $680.

Bidders were also able to give donations by choosing specific categories of financial aid. These donations included weekly allowances for students and fees for standardized tests and college applications.

Cathcart said, “Everyone contributed. People were really interested in the items and those interactive experiences sold at the Auction. It was exciting and fun, and very competitive.”

Although there are not yet confirmed plans on a future Bid on Blue event, it is likely that the Andover community will host another auction, according to Cathcart.

“It takes a while to get the word out there that we are having an auction. It took an enormous amount of effort to get people to participate,” said Cathcart. “I think that if we did it again, there will be a lot of contribution and fun, in a way that we didn’t have a history of before.”