One of the city’s best-loved charities is giving people a one-off opportunity to snap up a unique piece of art and be part of something special that will leave a legacy for families across Plymouth and surrounding areas.
On the evening of 9 October, all of the enchanting elephant sculptures that have delighted tens of thousands this summer as part of Elmer’s Big Parade – each featuring a unique design by a talented artist – will be going, going, gone as they are auctioned off to raise vital funds for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.
Paul Keen of Plymouth Auction Rooms will be wielding the hammer at the Grand Charity Auction at Herd HQ in the former Toys R Us store at Western Approach with a helping hand from BBC Radio Devon’s David Fitzgerald. He will preside over what is expected to be a high number of bids for the mammoth masterpieces, including the elephant sculpture painted by internationally renowned, Plymouth-based artist Brian Pollard, Patron of St Luke’s.
Paul Keen from Plymouth Auction Room said:
“St Luke’s do so much in providing compassionate care, that they need as much support as they can, and ultimately, it’s financial support. And this auction is on such a high platform, and it gives us the opportunity to raise as much as we possibly can for them.”
As well as the chance to bid for the stunning sculptures in person at the event, members of the public are also being offered the opportunity to bid by telephone and online, with St Luke’s keen to generate as much income as possible towards the specialist end of life care and support it provides.
Mike Dukes, Commercial Director of St Luke’s said:
“Elmer’s such a well-recognised character, we’ve got interest from as far afield as Japan interested in the Patchwork Elmer. But we’ve got so many great artists, it just depends on the night, how many people want the same one and they really want to put their hands in their pockets and buy that particular sculpture.”
The charity spends £5.7million a year on patient care giving its service free of charge to those who need it at home, in hospital or at its specialist unit at Turnchapel. Funds generated by the auction will help ensure St Luke’s expert team is there to make a very challenging time that little bit easier by ensuring dignity for patients and making them as comfortable as possible while also providing emotional, spiritual and practical support for them and their loved ones.
Steve Statham, Chief Executive of St Luke’s said:
“It has been wonderful seeing so many people following Elmer’s Big Parade, enjoying a free family day out. Along the way, they’ve been learning more about the importance of high-calibre bespoke care for people at end of life and the difference St Luke’s makes.
“Now comes the finale – the herd going under the hammer for a cause that means so much to so many. Almost everyone in our city is likely to require St Luke’s compassionate care one day, or be close to someone who does. That’s why we aim to attract substantial bids for these unique pieces of art that will help us continue to be there for families, enabling them to make the most of every moment together when time is running short.
“We want Elmer’s Big Parade to leave a special legacy beyond the trail and our Grand Charity Auction is a fantastic opportunity to be part of that.”
People are invited to register their interest in bidding at the event, where it is anticipated each sculpture will raise a minimum of £4,000 for St Luke’s. Also attending will be the sponsors of the Parade, the artists who created the enchanting designs, and representatives of the 25 local schools that decorated mini Elmers as part of St Luke’s Compassionate Schools programme, which tackles the taboo topics of death, dying and life-limiting illness in an age-appropriate way and enhances support for bereaved children.
To register your interest in bidding at the Grand Charity Auction, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org including ‘Elmer Auction’ in the subject.
Register to bid remotely, both online, via telephone or commission bid: www.plymouthauctions.co.uk/auction.php?auct=216
Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth is kindly sponsored by Stagecoach South West.