Invitations for “Celebrate With The Champions” will go out mid-May announcing the premier fundraising party at the Dressage Olympic Selection Trials in San Juan Capistrano, California. Orchestrated by Chairs Jane Thomas, Dick and Jane Brown, Linda Edwards, and Honorary Chairperson Akiko Yamazaki, the June 19 event will not only bring together 300 members of the dressage community for an evening of festive ‘wining and dining' California-style, but will also feature one of the most original and generous fundraising efforts conceived by one of the riders – Debbie McDonald has offered up for auction a one-month training package at Peggy and Parry Thomas's River Grove Farm including five lessons per week with her, board for the rider's horse, and accommodations at a condo in the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho.
“We're simply going to be the marvelous venue at which this auction is going to be consummated,” said Jane Brown of Carlsbad, California, who has been leading the California contingent of pre-Olympic fundraising efforts since March when she and Dick organized “Glory In Greece,” a party at the California Club in Los Angeles that raised $91,000 for the USET Foundation. Brown already had the June 19 party lined up when the opportunity arose to include McDonald's offer. “We are very, very close friends. Debbie has been stabling her horses at the same barn where we stable ours – in fact I've been teasing and calling it River Grove South,” said Brown. “Brentina is a hometown horse for California as far as we're all concerned. Debbie may come from Idaho but most of her national level of showing has been in California.”
Brown has scheduled McDonald's live auction to take place at the height of “Celebrate With The Champions,” which will be held from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Pacific Standard Time on Saturday night, June 19, at the Oaks Blenheim show grounds – the location of the Selection Trials. Brown will add an element of fun to the exciting live auction by including up to six spotters to work the room of bidders – she has already enlisted Guenter Seidel as her lead man. Bids will also be accepted via telephone during the auction, giving dressage supporters across the country the opportunity to bid on McDonald's package.
While the Browns were in Dusseldorf with their horse Nikolaus 7 and Guenter Seidel competing in the 2004 World Cup Final, Jane's letter to sponsors for “Celebrate With The Champions” was delivered to a select group of dressage supporters. It is Brown's hope that the party will be entirely underwritten by sponsors so that proceeds from the dinner and McDonald's auction will be pure profit for the USET Foundation and the US Dressage Team going to the Athens Olympic Games. The next mailing will be the actual invitation – which may prove to be something of a collector's item. “I'm listing the co-chairs plus as many sponsors as get back to me in time to have their names actually printed on the invitations,” said Brown. “It's a fun invitation – bright yellow in a bright yellow 6-1/2 inch square envelope. On top of that is a layer of black and white check with little funky Spanish-y looking roses in yellow, red, and blue, and on top of that is a sheet of vellum on which the invitation is actually printed. Holes are drilled through and then we'll put a little ribbon on top,” she explained and added cheerfully, “The worst part is going to be tying the bows that hold this whole thing together. We actually have to thread through the ribbon and put a little sailor not in it. We're talking about 500 or 600 invitations!”
The June 19 “Celebrate With The Champions” fiesta-style party includes entertainment by six strolling mariachis and dancers costumed in traditional ruffled dresses. Because of the extensive silent auction planned, Brown will have food stations and bars strategically located around the serpentines of auction tables so that attendees will have the opportunity to keep bidding as they enjoy the festive fare and special frozen Margaritas leading up to the highlight of the evening, the presentation of The Debbie McDonald Training Package Auction.
Brown is excited about the opportunity to feature this unique auction package. “If you know Sun Valley at all – plus the months' board for one's horse, plus of course Debbie's training – it's a marvelous, marvelous offer. I don't ride but I wouldn't mind going to Sun Valley for a month!” she enthused. Brown has worked to line up a festive event and let everyone know about it through her letter and invitations, and says, “The rest is going to be in the lap of Lady Luck.”
Auction And “Celebrate With The Champions” Ticket Information
To attend the live auction of the Debbie McDonald Training Package and “Celebrate With The Champions,” tickets are $100 each. Drink tickets will be available at $5 each at the party. For reservations, contact Jane Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 760-438-3873.
To participate in the Debbie McDonald Training Package auction via telephone on June 19, bidders must register first by contacting Mason Phelps, Jr. at Phelps Media Group, Inc. via email at email@example.com.
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