Our fundraiser to restore the historic “Monterey Christmas Angels” on December 5, 2015 was a resounding success. Attendance was estimated to be 120 Angel patrons, including a majority of the Monterey City Council (one of whose children submitted a new Angel for auction). Twenty newly painted Angels were displayed around the gathering room at the Museum of Monterey on the Custom House Plaza, and lively interest was displayed in the Angels and in the biographies posted next to each one. All had the same shape and dimensions, but each presented the unique artistic vision of the Artist who graciously donated each Angel. The crowd enjoyed hors d’oeurves, wine and beer amid the lively discussion of individual artistic merits during the Reception preceding the auction.
Promptly at 7:30 pm, our auctioneer Mike Tryon called attention to the podium for the first piece to be bid on, and the auction was on. Mike is a professional auctioneer from Temecula who volunteered his services to enhance our auction experience, and we are most grateful for his contribution. Bidding started a bit slowly but the crowd soon warmed to the spirit of evening. Some favorites quickly appeared and precipitated lively bidding for the rest of the evening. The first bid to go over $500 was the Christmas Angel painted by renowned artist Erin Lee Gadfill, which topped out at $750. Thereafter 4 or 5 other Angels went for more that $500 each, with the night’s big winner the Angel painted by Gail Reeves (brightly colored angel with lamb), going for $1,150.
A total of $7,492 was raised in sales. After deducting $1,632 in costs, a net profit of $5,860 was the fruit of the event. The majority of the net profit went to restoring historic Angels, after deducting an administrative fee to the Old Monterey Foundation for underwriting the event, per agreement with the Colton Hall and Cultural Arts Commission of the City of Monterey.
The net profit will pay to restore from six to eight original Angels. Several original angels remain to be restored. We look forward to repeating the success of this event in the future, to the end that all original Angels are back in service to decorate the downtown during the Christmas season.