You don’t need cash for this bash
April 21, 2009
Need a babysitter or a ride to the concert? What about someone to clean doggy doo-doo from the lawn?
Whoever said you can’t buy peace of mind has never been to Mountain Town Stages Music Makers’ Bash. Massages, music lessons and pet care are among the services patrons at the music nonprofit’s annual fundraiser can purchase.
The bash is Saturday at The Yard from 7 to 10 p.m. and costs $5.
Unlike most silent auctions in town, the event doesn’t require formal dress or an impressive bank account. All participants need is a willingness to serve, said Jenn Chesney, one of the organizers of the event. Nearly 200 people donated yoga and Pilates classes, massages and free bike tuning service, restaurant coupons and secret soup recipes, among other things. It is possible to take home a much-sought-after I.O.U. for $50.
"Rather than asking for hard goods, we as people to donate services," explained Brian Richards, the executive director of MTS. "We try not to get too fancy." For his part, Richards pledges to deliver a case of beer once a month to the highest bidder. He plans to take another auction-winner on a personalized music crawl on Main Street.
Big ticket items include trips to Napa Valley, tickets to 2010 Grammy Awards, a shopping spree in Los Angeles and a meal at House of Blues, a restaurant-cum-concert venue with locations in several major cities. Parents can bid on dirt-bike camps for kids and a weeklong workshop with Young Writers at Work, slated for Spiro Arts this summer.
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In spite of the troubled economy, Richards doesn’t anticipate deep cuts in the summer season. His organization will stage more than 100 free concerts at The Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Main Street and smaller stages scattered across Summit County.
In addition, Richards plans to add an educational component to the musical menu. Bands kindergarten through high school will take the stage at the Snow Park Amphitheater as well as smaller venues. They’ll receive backstage tours, learn about sound checks and staging, and play in music circles and jam sessions.
Much of what’s possible for MTS remains uncertain, though. The Music Makers’ Bash is one of two major fundraisers held each year for the organization and determines its fiscal outlook. "It’s a time for the community to come together," Chesney said. "This auction reaches out to people who do services," and people who want to serve. Chesney has seen an assortment of new businesses, such as pottery studio Color Me Mine, donate this year. Businesses run from home, whether delivery, lawn care or childcare, have donated more this year as well.
Lisa Needham, a singer/songwriter who teaches at Park City Yoga Studio plans to donate 20 free classes to the highest bidder. Helen Stanley, a longtime volunteer with Mountain Town Stages, will baby sit. Stanley has worked about one gig a week and written grants for MTS since 2001. "It’s one of the things that defines Park City," she said. "I can’t imagine not being involved with it."
Although this is the first year Stanley has donated to the Bash, it isn’t the first year she’s won something. Two years ago, she bid on, and won, H&R Block services. She got her taxes done, and contributed to Mountain Town Stages at the same time.
The auction is "massively important" for music lovers in Park City in a down economy, she said. The concerts "won’t take your cold away, but they will take your mind off it," she said.
Music Makers is a silent auction of personal services with live music by small house strings. Tickets are $5 and can be redeemed for a drink at The Yard, 1251 Kearns Blvd. Auction Items include music lessons, computer services, cleaning, home repairs, adventure tours, personal services, catered dinners and pet care. Contact Jenn Chesney at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Each donor receives four tickets to the party Saturday, April 25, from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Yard.