October 03, 2014 12:00 am '€¢ Lu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent HAMMOND |
Fine jewelry, sports tickets, spa packages, museum passes, TVs, golf packages and lots of themed baskets go to the highest bidder at Albert's Diamond Jewelers' 12th annual MS Auction Sunday.
Doors at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr., open at noon for guests to preview the hundreds of items available. The event, which begins with auctioning at 1 p.m., is free and open to the public.
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, who owns Albert's Diamond Jewelers.
"This is the most items we've ever had, and we have some very unique things," said Amanda Heeringa of Albert's Diamond Jewelers.
For those who love jewelry, auction items include a yellow diamond ring and a diamond heart pendant, Heeringa said.
"We have sports tickets for the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs, the White Sox. There's a week's vacation in Florida, and a one-year membership to the YMCA," she said.
Among the unique items up for auction this year are a three-credit course at Purdue University Calumet and a cardiovascular workup offered by Franciscan Alliance.
One winner can sport a high-end custom suit made by the firm that creates suits for Josh Halpern, president of Albert's Diamond Jewelers.
Food and beverages will be served during the auction, Heeringa said.
Fred Halpern, who bought Albert's Diamond Jewelers in 1960, started this annual fundraiser. His wife, Donna, has MS.
The Halpern family has been involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for more than two decades, and, during that time, the family has contributed more than $750,000 to research toward a cure through their personal giving and Albert's annual MS auction.
Last year the charitable auction raised more than $130,000 for research by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Halpern family was inducted into the National MS Society Volunteer Hall of Fame.