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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Affaire raises $300,000, Center big winner

Saturday's "An Affaire to Remember" raised at least $300,000 for its sponsoring Anna Maria Island Community Center, the Center said yesterday after collating the results.

That's somewhat more than last year's event, biggest-ever fundraiser for the Center and on the Island. A total of 310 people attended the Affaire at St. Bernard Catholic Church.

Again this year an anonymous donor stepped up to match all bids in the live portion of the auction bidding totaling $100,000, including the "cash call."

Center executive director Pierrette Kelly announced a portion of the funds raised at the event will go to the capital campaign to expand the Center's facilities.

Sue O'Connor of Anna Maria won the $5,000 Give-A-Way raffle. In other raffles, the 51-inch TV set was won by Kathy McKenzie of Holmes Beach and the diamond tennis bracelet went to Suki Janisch of Holmes Beach.

The great attractions of the evening were the silent and live auctions of dozens of items, and here are some representative prizes and winning bidders:

Seven-day Alaska cruise for two, won by Tom and Donna Seguin of Bradenton; a week in Paris, Don and Karen Schroder; Bradenton mayor for a day and tickets to share a box seat with Mayor Wayne Poston at a Tampa Devil Rays/Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game, won by Ross Benjamin of Bradenton Beach.

Weekend at the Waldorf in New York with tickets to "The Producers," Kim Dalglish of Bradenton; 10-day European cruise, Steve Blackledge of Longboat Key.

And the liveliest prize of all, a Bichon Frisse puppy with a year's food, grooming and veterinary care plus carpet cleaning, won by Herman and Roberta Fernandez of Tampa.

And Ed Chiles seemed pretty excited about his winning bid on a trip to Las Vegas and tickets to see Elton John.

Ilona and Jeff Kenrick cheered for their prize two-hour sunset trolley tour with a case of champagne and a barbecue dinner, donated by Trolley Systems of America, The Islander and Big John's Barbecue.