Silent auction to aid military families ,,,


   OK, I’ve dragged my feet long enough on this Green Bay Packer Super Bowl Plaque fund-raiser idea, so now I am going to pull the trigger and hope for the best.
   A couple of months ago, Ernie Montella came across this remarkable 23-by-25-inch plaque that commemorates the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl win in New Orleans in 1997. The plaque is stunning, weighing in at more than 13 lbs., and pictures all the members of the team figuratively huddling around the front cover of the official souvenir program from the game.
   Montella donated the plaque, asking that the proceeds go to a worthy charity of our choice. I’ve wrestled for a while trying to figure out how to maximize this, and the best I could come up with is a silent auction that will be conducted on my blog and in my Sports Collectors Digest column, to run perhaps to the end of the year.
   At that point, I’ll announce the winner, and ask the winning bidder to make out a check to the American Military Family Association for the full amount of the winning bid. There will be no buyer’s commission or any other additional charges; I will even spring for the cost of shipping, which for a 13-lb. plaque will likely be substantial. In short, every nickle raised will go to this charity.
   In the meantime, I am going to e-mail various Wisconsin newspapers in hopes that they might expand the range of exposure beyond our collectibles world.
   To bid, all anybody has to do is send me an e-mail with your bid – in $10 increments – and over the course of the auction I’ll announce where the bidding stands. I am kind of winging this procedure, so if there are flaws I haven’t anticipated, we’ll have to address them as we go along.
   If after some period I have, by way of example, a dozen bids at $150, I’ll notify the bidders of the stalemate and encourage a bump. Ultimately, I will work with the winning bidder to ensure an effective payment arrangement; I hate it that I have to consider such concerns but I would be remiss in my responsibility to the charity and Mr. Montella if I didn’t do so.
   I’ll even start the bidding at $10, and if that makes me a shill bidder, so be it. For Packer fans and collectors, I wish there were a way to adequately express what a wonderful collectible this is; these are actual cards of the players – and Holmgren – pressed onto this heavy wood board in a kind of lamination-like process, but one which is way cooler than simple lamination. The result is a smooth but uniquely textured treasure with more than 50 Packers neatly presented with highlights of Green and Gold.
   And remember, it weighs 13 lbs. That ought to make it clear that it’s not a poster in any conventional use of the word.

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