Albert's auction continues fight against MS

2013-10-03T19:45:00Z 2013-10-03T23:28:07Z Albert's auction continues fight against MSLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 03, 2013 7:45 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Fine jewelry, sports tickets and parking, spa packages and themed baskets overflowing with goodies will go to the highest bidder at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers 10th Annual Action for MS on Sunday.

Bidding starts at 1 p.m. at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive. Admission is free.

Guests may participate in both live and silent auctions as well as raffles and 50/50 drawings with all the proceeds benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a charity long supported by the Halpern family, which owns Albert’s.

“We’ll have a preview of items beginning at noon,” said Sarah Brown, Albert’s marketing and public relations manager.

Guests also have access to free food catered by Jalapeno’s, beverages courtesy of Lithographic Communications and a candy bar treat provided by Albanese Confectionary, Brown said.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising is sponsoring the seating and tables.

A popular item from last year’s auction, a photo booth sponsored by Say Memories, returns again, Brown said.

“We have a gift card tree that’s worth over $1,000 that will be raffled off,” Brown said, adding that more than 100 high value themed baskets will be available for bidding.

“Baskets are such a hot commodity. People just love them,” she said. “There will be a lot of what people have come to expect.”

Celebrity auctioneers will include Times columnist Phil Potempa and Dr. David L. Ashbach.

As guests enter, each will receive a number and information to make check-out and payment for items easier will also be gathered at that time, Brown said.

Maureen Reeder, Midwest Region Vice President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, will be on hand for the auction because the Halpern family is receiving national accolades for their fundraising efforts.

This annual fundraiser was started by Fred Halpern, who bought Albert’s Diamond Jewelers in 1960. His wife, Donna, has MS.

The family has been involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for more than two decades, and will soon be inducted into its Volunteer Hall of Fame. Fred and Donna Halpern, their son and daughter-in-law Joshua and Ashley Halpern, and Fred's brother Charlie Halpern are being recognized.

The Halpern family has contributed more than $500,000 to research toward a cure through their personal giving and Albert's annual MS auction.

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