Television Academy Foundation Auctions Raise Funds and Fulfill Dreams
Television Academy Foundation auction offers unique items and experiences.
Lea Lancourt of Davie, Florida, has a bucket list. Among the items on that list: Attend the Emmy Awards.
Well, thanks to the Television Academy Foundation and a loving sister, Lancourt has crossed that one off her list.
Among the offerings of the Foundation’s 2015 Emmy-season online auction was an irresistible package: Two orchestra seats for the Emmys and two tickets to the Governors Ball, with a starting bid of $2500. Lancourt’s sister, Beth Azor, saw the auction as a way to fulfill Lancourt’s dream, and emerged the winner with a whopping $9800 bid.
In case she didn’t win, though, Azor also bet on another wonderful offering: two front-row tickets for the Red Carpet bleachers, to see the stars’ arrivals. She bid on two of those packages, winning both, whereupon she contacted her best friend, whose sister had that experience on her own bucket list, and whose two children also wanted to participate.
“Trip of a lifetime!” Lancourt declared later on her Facebook page.
More lucky winners will have the chance to attend the Emmys and Governors Ball this year, after a winning $7100 bid during the recently completed Holiday-season online auction; Red Carpet tickets were also again successfully auctioned.
Between them, the two auctions offered more than 100 entertainment and travel experiences, memorabilia, beauty packages and other exceptional items, with proceeds benefiting the Foundation’s educational and archival programs. They were again conducted by eBay and eBay for Charity.
“The tickets are always a great package to sell, and it gives fans of the Emmys and of television the chance to engage with the Academy,” says Karla Loor Kitchel, the Foundation’s Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Marketing. “The Foundation was thrilled to see the Emmy-season package sell for almost $10,000. It reflects how excited fans are about the Emmys and about the wonderful television that’s being made every day.”
A Viking River Cruise for two on the Danube or Rhine rivers was also a big seller for the Holiday auction. The winner will travel for eight days from either Amsterdam to Basel or Budapest to Nuremberg.
A set visit to the CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless hosted by star Kate Linder was a hit in both auctions.
The Emmy-season auction also offered a VIP visit to the KTLA Morning News set and tickets to the Rose Parade, as well as tickets to tapings of such shows as TBS’s Conan, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, CBS’s The Late, Late Show with James Corden and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the latter including green room access.
Other Emmy-season items included autographed show posters and scripts, stays at Southern California luxury hotels and packages of lux beauty products.
One of the more unusual items came from Anthony Bourdain: an autographed piece of plaster taken from Muammar Gaddafi’s headquarters during the taping of the “Libya” episode of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
“I had originally asked for a signed cookbook,” says Foundation auction coordinator Pegah Faizai. “His rep contacted me back and said, ‘Would you like something to represent his show?’”
Bourdain was at the site because of the regime change, and picked up the plaster after his crew was asked to leave the premises. Bourdain’s Holiday auction offering included another unique item, a signed promotional poster he designed himself for his “Close to the Bone” speaking tour, but that ultimately did not make production’s final cut.
The Holiday auction presented yet another unusual option, in the form of a black hoodie worn by Mr. Robot star Rami Malek as Elliot and a Mr. Robot t-shirt signed by the cast of the USA Network show. “That was such fun,” Faizai says. “I usually ask for memorabilia, but the character is known for his sweatshirt. I figured, why not ask?”
That philosophy also scored an American Horror Story: Hotel script autographed by Lady Gaga and other cast members of the FX show. Gaga’s signature, and those of many other stars, also adorned a suitcase filled with goodies from the Emmys Giving Suite. There were numerous other signed memorabilia items and packages from popular shows.
Among other tapings, there were green room tickets with airfare to ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, tickets with airfare to HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and NBC’s The Voice and tickets with hotel to Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
LA Opera donated two orchestra tickets to its upcoming production of The Magic Flute. “I wanted to reach out for the Los Angeles experience,” Faizai says. “Our auction represents the celebrity lifestyle.”
Chef Niki Nakayama, of Netflix’s Chef’s Table, donated a kaiseki (Japanese 13-course tasting menu) for two at her West Los Angeles restaurant, n/naka.
And sports fans bid on Staples Center premier seats for a choice of games, plus airfare, and on a driving experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
There were also hotel stays and luxury beauty products. “I wanted to provide products the stars do use,” Faizai says of the latter, “and promote the brands we feel auction followers might not normally get for themselves. Beauty is a huge part of the entertainment industry, and we want our supporters and followers to have that experience.
“Our industry supporters provided unique items for the holiday season, for such a good cause,” she adds. “To see people open up their wallets and support the Foundation – that’s amazing.”
The auctions were promoted through social media. “It’s so wonderful to see that television has a permanent fan base,” Kitchel notes. “We feel that the Academy is a wonderful place for fans. We offer the biggest award show related to television – yes, it’s for the television community, but it’s also for the fans. And we offer auction items they won’t see anywhere else.”