Online Auction About To Go Live, Organizer Hoping For Far-Reaching Success

Music For Newtown, an online auction of items from artists familiar in the worlds of pop, country and rock, begins this afternoon. The auction of CDs and vinyl albums, guitars, publicity photos, concert and show tickets, and other rare music-related offerings goes live at 3 pm EST at MusicForNewtown.org. The auction site is already live for anyone who wants to look around, read descriptions and start planning their bidding strategy.

In just a few hours the bidding will open, with Charity Auctions Today hosting the event. The auction site will be able to receive bids from around the world.

In addition, the length of the event sponsored by Republic Records and coordinated by Newtown native Beth Bogdan has been extended. Originally scheduled to close at 3 pm Wednesday, bidders now have an additional 30 hours — until 9 pm Thursday, March 28 — to bid on the items. Numerous artists have donated to the event, and all proceeds will benefit The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, which will support longterm recovery needs of the Newtown community.

Ms Bogdan, the senior director of artistic relations for Republic Records, created Music For Newtown to give back to all those affected by 12/14 in her former hometown.

“I’ve been trying to figure out what I could do,” she told The Newtown Bee a few weeks ago. A 1989 graduate of Newtown High School, Ms Bogdan has been to town a few times since 12/14, including a visit with her parents around Christmas before the trio headed to her parents’ current home in Mystic.

“This is my town,” she later added. “It’s part of me. This is personal,” she said. “I have so many great memories of Newtown.”

She started thinking about helping Newtown shortly after 12/14, but did not want to add to the media spectacle that invaded the town in the weeks after the shootings. She also did not want to compete with all of the events that immediate sprang up, all well intentioned, she added.

Instead, she decided to use her connections in the music world to help Newtown, but from about 75 miles away. Now based in Manhattan, Ms Bogdan has been able to reach our to musicians and colleagues for the auction items. By hosting an online-only event, she will be able to reach a much larger audience than a one-day staged event could ever hope for.

Ms Bogdan decided last weekend to extend the auction, from two days to three, due to the number of items that continued to arrive for the fundraiser. In the past week alone, Ms Bogdan has catalogued autographed items from Neil Peart (a drumhead used by the Rush drummer, along with drumsticks), Elton John (Gnomeo & Juliet DVD and CD, Elton John Greatest Hits 1970–2002 CD, plus two T-shirts, magnets and even playing cards), John Mayer (two lots: a guitar and a lithograph), Austin Malone (Trukfit shirts), One Direction (CD), Blink 182 (bass guitar), The Lonely Island (framed posted) and Ryan Beatty (personalized CD and a call to the winner).

Jack Johnson and Soundgarden have made additional donations to the auction, with Mr Johnson providing a ukulele and Soundgarden offering another signed CD (Telephantasm) to the growing list of items available.

Last night Ms Bogdan also announced a pair of tickets for the July 13 concert by Taylor Swift at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Hours earlier there had been announcements of a signed poster by Eddie Vedder from a June 2011 performance at The Beacon Theatre in New York City, a Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) double platinum certified plaque for Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black album, and a signed vinyl copy of Seth MacFarlane’s Music Is Better Than Words.

Bethel Music Centre has donated a guitar, which has been autographed by Kelly Rowland, The Avett Brothers, Chris Mann, Juliet Simms, Austin Mahone and Jessie J.

Previously donated items had included two tickets to see Tim McGraw on June 30 at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., autographed guitars from The Eagles, 3 Doors Down and Taylor Swift, an autographed copy of the Robert Cray CD Cookin’ In Mobile along with a signed 8x10 photo of the musician, a four-pack of tickets for the May 27 taping of The Voice in Los Angeles, two tickets and Meet & Greet passes for MIKA’s April 9 show at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, and a T-shirt signed by all six members of Cimorelli.

Also up for auction are a signed drumhead from Of Monsters and Men’s 2012 US Fall Tour, and a limited-edition tour poster signed by the band. In addition, the band and organizers of The Governors Ball Music Festival have teamed up to donate a pair of 3-day GA passes to this year’s festival, in Randall’s Island, New York City, June 7–9.

Autographed vinyl has been donated by Jack Johnson (En Concert on vinyl, CD and DVD), The Avett Brothers (The Carpenter), and Florence+The Machine (Ceremonials).

Signed Colbie Caillat songbooks, CDs, a comic book (Archie Comics #196, “Veronica featuring special guest star Colbie Caillat”), and another guitar have also been added to the auction.

Autographed CDs have also come from fun. (Some Nights), Thomas Rhett (Acoustic EP), Soundgarden (Superunknown, along with other items) Jewel (Lullaby), Five For Fighting (Slice), Owl City (Ocean Eyes), and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (a signed copy of Rattle Them Bones and, like Robert Cray, an autographed 8x10 photo), Jessie J (Who You Are), and others.

Gotye has donated items including a limited edition Australian version of Making Mirrors on vinyl with autographed liner booklet.

In all, more than 80 lots will be up for online bidding. Ms Bogdan is hoping to raise more than $100,000.

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