ALLEGANY, N.Y. — A week at the beach, tickets to a Notre Dame football game, a Nolan Ryan autographed jersey, and a blueberry pie baked by Daniel Hurley, OFM, were some of the items raising more than $25,000 to benefit Mt. Irenaeus at an auction Nov. 3 at St. Bonaventure University here.
Even a piece of the floor from the SBU Reilly Center, now known as the Bob Lanier Court, was auctioned off, along with more than 100 items generously donated.
Everything from food and wine, to electronics and religious artwork were up for grabs, with bids beginning at $15 and going to almost $1,000.
This was the seventh annual Mountain Auction, according to Margaret Bryner, SBU HEOP director and auction chair. Auction proceeds over the years have netted $157,575, allowing Mt. Irenaeus to continue to serve others through its endowment, according to Bryner, who was awarded the Province’s Francis Medal last year.
“We will know the exact total raised this year early in December,” said Daniel Riley, OFM, director of Mt. Irenaeus and guardian of Holy Peace Friary in West Clarksville, N. Y. “As of mid November, we know it was between $25 and $ 27,000.”
The bidding began after 5 p.m. Mass in the SBU chapel, at which Daniel Hurley gave the homily. A silent auction started at 6 p.m., with Philip Eberl, a SBU grad and faculty member since 1967, serving as master of ceremonies. The verbal auction began at 8:30, with professional auctioneer Daniel Carter.
Participants enjoyed dinner before bidding on the many donated items, with people driving up the bids to show their love of the Mountain. Fans of Mt. Irenaeus help the auction in a variety of ways including by hosting gift-gathering parties. Bryner said she is involved with the auction because of her respect for Mt. Irenaeus.
”It is a spiritual place that’s open to people of all denominations,” Bryner said. “Since I am not Catholic, this aspect of The Mountain is critical to me.”
Mt. Irenaeus is a not-for-profit Franciscan retreat located in the scenic mountains of southwestern New York. It recently completed celebration of 20 years of welcoming, according to the auction program which included a letter from Daniel Riley. He said that the auction was a wonderful event, adding that “more people than ever attended the Eucharist.”