Charity auction to aid work of Watertown Urban Mission

Will feature 100-plus premium, unique and antique items; event to include a silent auction, designer purse and jewelry sale, as well as 50/50 raffles. Local celebrities Brian Ashley, Alex Hazard and Johnny Spezzano to host as auctioneers

In what has become a signature event in our community, the Watertown Urban Mission’s ninth annual auction will offer exciting items such as a Regent baby grand piano, a full-sized arcade game, and baskets stocked full of premium items provided by local churches and organizations that are in competition for the fifth annual WUMBA award! The Auction will be held Saturday, April 22, at St. Anthony’s Church Bingo Hall, on the corner of Arsenal Street and Bellew Avenue.

In addition to the live auction, there will also be a silent auction, 50/50 drawings, and a cash-and-carry style designer purse and jewelry sale that will feature purses of brand names such as Coach, Vera Bradley and Gucci.

“Throughout the year, we collect so many unique, exquisite, and interesting items that come to us as donations, and so we’re excited to finally be able to put them up for bid at the Auction,” said Tammy Olivas, Impossible Dream store manager. “With so much variety, everyone’s sure to have a great time bidding, and when they win an item, there’s the added bonus of knowing the proceeds go to helping locals overcome life’s struggles.”

The Auction Preview will begin at 9 a.m. and the Live Auction is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at St. Anthony’s Bingo Hall, 850 Arsenal St. Photos of many items have been added to the Mission’s Facebook page at

This year’s local celebrity auctioneers are Brian Ashley of FDRLO, Alex Hazard of WWTI/ABC50, and Johnny Spezzano of The Border 106.7 and Yo Johnny’s. They will auction off the 100 items of the live auction. The live auction items range from premium to antique to rare, including: a Gretsch Electric Guitar, a mother-of-pearl inlay oriental tray with tea set, a lounge chair set by Danish designer Ib Kofod-Larsen, and a Wedgewood china set.

As a part of the live auction, the WUMBA baskets will each have a theme and are filled with premium items associated with that theme. Some examples are: “Day at the Spa” filled with pampering items, “Holidays Throughout the Year” filled with fun holiday items and decor, and Eating Around Town” filled with lots of local restaurant gift cards. For the last two years, Concordia Lutheran Church has won the WUMBA award and will be competing for your bid again to earn that coveted WUMBA trophy. This friendly competition is just one of the ways our supporting churches and organizations show their dedication to the Mission and those we serve.

“The atmosphere is really great. The auctioneers are connecting with the audience, the energy is up, and the anticipation for the next exciting item makes it a fun and lively event for everyone,” Olivas added. “The doors are open for everyone, so please stop by; you won’t be disappointed.”

“The Auction is our biggest general fundraiser of the year and the proceeds support all of our programs, which collectively served local people in need over 42,000 times last year,” Joanna J. Loomis, executive director, said. “The funds raised will directly support services that give help and hope to our neighbors who are struggling with all kinds of situations. Everyone needs help at some point in their life, so we’re here for our community when they do.”

The Watertown Urban Mission brings together community-minded individuals, businesses, organizations and churches to help families through difficult times with programs that provide food and drink, offer clothing and other household needs, assist the homeless in finding housing, give the addicted and imprisoned a chance to get their lives back on track, aid the sick with prescriptions and help getting to medical appointments, and more. For more information about the Mission and its auction, visit

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