Auction Provides ‘Wonderful Start’ for Antoinette Hall
by Scott Stewart
When the dust settled at STAAR Theater Sunday, the 2017 WKSR Community Auction was one of the best ever in terms of the amount of money raised and the number of items sold.
“I am overwhelmed at our community support for STAAR and Antoinette Hall,” STAAR Executive Director Tammy Pierchoski said. “Each one of you who asked for items, picked up, donated, provided drop off point (People’s Choice Realty), auctioned, bid, baked, cooked for auction volunteers, kept the volunteer lounge stocked, ran items, logged items, ran check out, provided security, handled paperwork, answered phones, set up phone lines, handed out flyers and posters, set up, cleaned up, organized volunteers, volunteered of themselves, toured the opera house and selected the organization for this auction in the first place (WKSR Committee and all its completely incredible staff) we want to say thank you!”
A total of 497 items flew across the auction table Sunday raising $27,000 in sales alone. With donations and sales combined the second Sunday of this year’s auction raised more than $37,000.
Combined with almost $17,000 raised in week one, the 2017 WKSR Community Auction sold 774 items and raised $54,000 for STAAR’s effort to save and restore the historic Antoinette Hall Opera House on the Pulaski Square.
Actors stage a performance on the stage at Antoinette Hall in this rendering of how the historic opera house could look after it is restored. Funds raised over the last two weeks on the WKSR Community Auction will get the effort to save and restore Antoinette Hall started. Photo by Michael Pilkinton, post processing by Kenny Konig / Courtesy of Giles County Camera Club
The total raised was helped along by large donations from the T.J. Martell Foundation ($5,000) and Pulaski Rotary Club ($2,000) along with large items selling for thousands of dollars, including a 2008 Malibu donated by Murrey Chevrolet that sold for $6,000.
That money will be used as efficiently as possible with the STAAR Theater board of directors scheduled to meet soon and discuss searching for grants that would match the money raised.
“There are a lot of grant opportunities out there,” Pierchoski said. “We are trying to find grants to match what we’ve raised so we can at least double the money. Of course, our first phase of the project is stabilization of the opera house. We have to do that first or we are going to lose it.”
Pierchoski added that STAAR will also be seeking grants for Phase II of the project which will involve the restoration of Antoinette Hall’s facade back as close to its original appearance as possible.
“This is a wonderful start,” she said. “Plans are underway now, and we are going to be meeting to find out what our next step is going to be.”
Expressing thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, WKSR and all those who donated and bid on items, Pierchoski said she is excited to know that the people who live in Giles County can now drive by Antoinette Hall and know it belongs to them and this community.
“Everyone who baked a cookie, donated an item or bought an item will know when they drive by that they had a part in that,” Pierchoski said.
Approximately 100 people toured the second floor opera house during the two Sundays of the auction, bringing more Giles Countians in touch with a treasure that has remained hidden from the public for decades.
“Something we’ve been trying to do is educate the public on what we do have here,” Pierchoski added. “The auction has helped people to see it, know what we are going to do and lay open everything that is going on so they know what our plans are and what we are doing.”
There are still opportunities to support STAAR Theater and the effort to save Antoinette Hall. One way is to visit antoinettehall.com to find out more about STAAR and the historic opera house. Donations can be made through the website.
“Also keep watching for our events at STAAR every month,” Pierchoski reminded. “Attending these events gives you an opportunity to find out our progress and it continues to support the effort to save Antoinette Hall.”