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Students and Alumni Host 20th Annual “Hollywood” Auction

20th annual Hollywood AuctionEveryone was a star on Saturday, February 5, at The School of Hospitality’s 20th Annual “Hollywood” Auction benefiting its Alumni Association, its student Hospitality Association, and two local charities: the Junior League of Lansing and the MSU Federal Credit Union’s Institute for Arts & Creativity at Wharton Center.

Over 300 registered bidders joined hundreds of student volunteers and a hard-working student executive board in the Big Ten Rooms of the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, transformed into a sparkling, star-studded (literally; guests entered the Auction through a huge, hollow silver star, studded with sparkling lights!), and festive environment.

With a $10 donation at the door, guests enjoyed complimentary food and beverages – and butler service, as well – and the opportunity to bid on silent auction items which changed every half hour starting at 5 p.m., and on live auction items beginning at 6 p.m.

Auctioneer Bob Howe kept the crowd involved and excited until the last item was sold, marking his own 20th anniversary with this event. And celebrity master of ceremonies, the voice of Spartan hockey, Gary Snellenberger lent his considerable talent and legendary voice to the festivities.

Auction items were all donated over the course of a year by generous School Alumni and supporters, and there was something for everyone. A few examples include the following:

• A Detroit Red Wings package, including a hat autographed by Pavel Datsyuk, a puck autographed by Henrik Zetterberg, and a book autographed by Kris Draper.
• One night accommodations for two with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne, $65 food credit, and valet parking at the legendary Townsend Hotel and dinner for two at 220 Restaurant in Birmingham, MI.
• A one-hour massage at Creative Wellness, packaged with a gift certificate to Crunchy’s in East Lansing.
• Custom-made, savory cheesecakes made by local baker Nancy Elsworth.
• An in-home wine tasting with six bottles of wine for up to 14 people with a private wine advisor.
• A two-night stay at Chicago’s famed Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, and a $50 gift card to UNO Chicago.
• A two-night stay at The Inn at Spanish Bay and golf for two, including golf cart, at The Links at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, CA.
• A two-night stay at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, with The Waldorf Astoria Cookbook and DVD.

Also included were stays at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, several stays at Ritz-Carlton properties around the world, a unique package for Yellowstone National Park, numerous offerings for Disney World Theme Parks and Resorts, and even a stay at the Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, Singapore!

For members of the Junior League of Lansing, the evening began with a private reception. And this year, alumni and friends in locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Marina del Rey, and New York City were able to get together and bid in real time against bidders in East Lansing.

Nadia Lanni (BA ’11), Hollywood Auction’s CEO, credits the very organized and dedicated executive board for the professional way the Auction was produced this year. “This is an event that could potentially be a logistical nightmare,” she acknowledged. “But with 20 years of experience, generous donations from alumni and industry friends, and tireless students, we were able to put together an evening we are proud of. And it was a lot of fun!”

Good deals, great times, funds raised for good causes. That is Hollywood Auction. Mark your calendars now for the 21st Annual Auction, February 11, 2012.

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