Every year the staff of the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention has been responsible for making someone’s life a little happier and the annual charity auction is a superb way for attendees to express their generosity. In past years, Hollywood legends such as Fess Parker, Casey Kasem, Elizabeth Taylor, June Foray, Alan Young and many others have all contributed autographed items for this annual event, and attendees have a chance to bid on them.
Vendors at MANC, along with attendees themselves, have also donated comic books, paperbacks, movie posters, tee shirts, audio cassettes, old-time radio shows, figurines, bobble heads and a wide variety of assorted items for the auction. Whether you plan to donate an item or bid on one, the staff of MANC want to express our appreciation for your contribution. We know that we cannot raise (nor compete) against other charity events that raise tens of thousands of dollars, especially since we only have one hour to raise as much as we can. But regardless of the time restraint, we have already succeeded in donating a few thousand dollars and every little bit helps.
St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. Obviously, no charity can operate without overhead (electric bills, etc.), but St. Jude is proud to admit that 89.9 percent of the money donated goes straight to the children. With most charities, you cannot be sure how much of your donation is really being put to use. With the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, you can be assured that your money is helping a child in need.
When late entertainer Danny Thomas opened the doors to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1962, he was not just changing the lives of those children who would walk through its doors. He was changing lives across the world. More than 70 years ago, Danny Thomas, then a struggling young entertainer with a baby on the way, visited a Detroit church and was so moved during the Mass, he placed his last $7 in the collection box. When he realized what he’d done, Danny prayed for a way to pay the looming hospital bills. The next day, he was offered a small part that would pay 10 times the amount he’d given to the church. Danny had experienced the power of prayer. In the years that followed, Danny’s career flourished through films and television, and he became an internationally known entertainer. In the early 1950s, Danny began discussing with friends what concrete form his vow might take. Gradually, the idea of a children’s hospital, possibly in Memphis, Tennessee, took shape. In 1955, Danny Thomas and a group of Memphis businessmen who had agreed to help support his dream seized on the idea of creating a unique research hospital devoted to curing catastrophic diseases in children. More than just a treatment facility, this would be a research center for the children of the world.
2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The stories of families who almost lost hope and gained a second chance of life are today grateful for the service.
For the September 2010 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, Elizabeth Taylor mailed an autographed photo for the charity. Sadly, the photo arrived in the mail two days after the event. One of the convention organizers saved that photo so it could be auctioned off at the 2011 event. The same convention organizer also bought a glass frame so the photo could be protected. Between the two conventions, Elizabeth Taylor passed away. Normally, the envelope supplying the mailed autographed item is never included with the auction — the celebrities do value their privacy and their return address is usually included on the envelope. But under this circumstance, an exception was made and the envelope that Elizabeth Taylor mailed the photo was included with the auction. For autograph collectors, the envelope was treasured as much as the photo itself because the postmark on the envelope verified it was signed by Taylor months before her untimely passing. That framed photo, including the envelope, sold for more than $250! A legal tax deduction for the attendees who won their cinematic treasure and their winning bid certainly helped put a smile on a young child’s face.
What Can You Do?
If you cannot attend the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention this year, consider making a donation by clicking on the St. Jude icon below. If you want to donate an item for the auction (who doesn’t have something in their house they can live without?), simply bring it to the convention. Two tables will be on display throughout Friday so the auction items can be on display. You are more than welcome to place your donation on those tables. If you cannot attend the convention, you are more than welcome to mail your item to MANC Convention, Attn: Charity Auction, Po Box 52, Whiteford, MD 21160. We will make sure your item is on the tables Friday afternoon.
This year’s treasures!
The donations are already pouring in! Jane Fonda signed a cookbook! Ann Blyth, Rhonda Fleming, Lizabeth Scott, Barbara Eden, Pat Boone and Burt Reynolds already donated autographed photos! Photos enclosed below of some of the items that will be auctioned off this year!
More to come!
CONVENTION TIP: Remember to bring your check book with you. At the close of the auction, attendees are encouraged to sign a check for the total of their winning bids, payable to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can pay for your items via credit card or cash, but a check is not only convenient for the volunteer staff and their paperwork, but St. Jude will be able to mail you a personal receipt for your donation because your mailing address is on your check.