DURHAM, April 22, 2002) - Get in on the bidding action as New Hampshire Public Television's 29th annual NHPTV Spring Auction begins Friday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. Watch friends and neighbors as they join more than 1,000 volunteers to raise $460,000 in nine nights. The auction airs from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. through Saturday, May 11.It all happens at the NHPTV Broadcast Center in Durham with every corner of the station dedicated to some Auction activity. Thanks to the generosity of at least 3,000 donors, there are more than 5,000 donations. Bidding has already begun on Superboard donations valued at $1,000 or more. In addition to viewing these items as they come up for bid, viewers can preview them on the internet at www.nhptv.org. These include a 2002 Toyota Camry LE and trips around the world, thanks to American Airlines. Preview the Virtual Gallery, which showcases the works of 54 New England artisans with direct links to many of their own websites. On-line preview bids for the Virtual Gallery will be accepted until noon Tuesday, May 7, then all Virtual Gallery items will sell off on Gallery Night, Wednesday, May 8. Through live video streaming of the NHPTV Auction, people outside of the viewing area can experience Auction mania, too.According to NHPTV Auction Manager Trish Ballantyne while the technology and means of display continue to evolve, the dedication and commitment of volunteers remains constant. "It's always a treat to watch seasoned Auction veterans welcome new volunteers and to witness the contagious enthusiasm work its magic," Ballantyne said. Celebrating her 10th anniversary as auction manager, she originally became involved as a volunteer and underwriter. "It's not all about raising money. We certainly do that, but the community spirit is amazing. Folks take their vacations to be here and we make new friends every night!" You never know who will appear on the NHPTV Spring Auction. Governor Jeanne Shaheen will visit the NHPTV studios on opening night during the 6:00 hour. Local celebrities, politicians and civic leaders frequently make time to lend their support by serving as auctioneers. Theme nights offer many items of special interest. How-to Night on Saturday, May 4 will feature lead underwriter True Value. Sports Night on Monday, May 6 includes a pair of season passes for UNH men's hockey. On Gallery Night, Wednesday, May 8 tuxedo-clad auctioneers will showcase the work of artists from around New England. Some of the more unique items donated include a 3-day luxury cruise for six donated by Ring-Anderson and Nicolson Yacht Charters, Inc., of Cambridge, MA; a Pompano Beach, Florida time share; a stunning 14-carat gold-and-diamond pendant; and a Jimmy Buffett Party Package, including tickets to a sold-out concert, donated by the New Hampshire Parrot Head Club!Bidding during the auction is easy. Call the toll-free number on your TV screen, tell the operator the number of the item you want, state your highest bid and give your name, address and phone number. Express bidder numbers are also available and encouraged so you don't have to give all your information each time you call, and they're free! It's never too late to volunteer. It takes upwards of 200 people - from those you see answering phones to the crew behind the cameras - to run the auction each night. Help is needed, especially on the late shift, which runs 8:15 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Call Nancy Normile at 868-4400 and sign up today.Donations valued at $60 or more are accepted throughout the week of the auction. To donate, call (603) 868-4432. Additional information on NHPTV programming and activities is available at www.nhptv.org. NHPTV airs programs that entertain, educate and enrich on analog channels 11 in Durham, 15 in Hanover, 18 in Pittsburg, 49 in Littleton, 52 in Keene and digital channel 57 in Durham.Beyond its award-winning local and national television programs, NHPTV provides instructional services for 220,000 students from kindergarten through high school; offers Ready To Learn programs for children, preschool to age 12; and provides professional development programs and advanced technology training for parents, educators and child-care providers in New Hampshire and neighboring states. For more information about NHPTV programs that entertain, educate and enrich, visit www.nhptv.org.
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