Friday, November 7, 2014

WIPB fundraiser includes cruises, money-balloons

By John Strauss

Just in time for the next blast of late fall weather, WIPB Public Television's annual Telesale fundraiser features five vacation packages including a Buccaneer Pirate Cruise leaving from Destin, Fla.
"We're emphasizing fun this year," said Lori Georgi, Telesale coordinator. "This is our major fundraiser, and we have people who have been watching this for years. It's more than a televised auction - there's entertainment as well."
Bidders can tune in next Thursday-Saturday night to WIPB-TV or go online now to bid at The money is used to support the non-profit station, which is a PBS affiliate owned by Ball State University.

The broadcast features special guests such as Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo on Thursday night, and Steve Lindell of Woof Boom Radio. Al Rent, a longtime community volunteer and broadcaster, has been a fixture of the program since it began in 1978 and usually hosts on Saturday.

This year's vacation offerings include a three-night stay at the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa in Reno, Nevada; five days in Cancun, Mexico, and a three-day "luxury weekend escape" at the Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters in Washington, D.C.

An "Eat for a Year" deal at Amazing Joe's, featuring monthly dining, is a popular offering, as is the traditional Ball State tuition of $2,000.

Bidders can see the current bid on the items they're competing for during the broadcast or at any time online. The sale's attraction lies in the deals that bidders get when items sell for below retail cost.

Fun is usually part of the show. Longtime favorites include the First Merchants Balloon Bust. The children's version of the event is worth $300 and the adult version is $400.

"People buy it so they can come into the studio, bust balloons and see how much money they can win," Georgi said. "It's really fun."

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