Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rhode Island PBS Benefit Auction Opens September 22

Sometimes less is more. For proof, visit the Rhode Island PBS 2013 Benefit Auction, featuring just three items: the 2013 Toyota Prius v, round-trip accommodations for two between Chicago and New Orleans aboard a Pullman Rail Journeys sleeping car, and a dramatic Turkish wool wall hanging from Rustigian Rugs of Providence. Bidding opens on September 22.

The idea of a non-profit organization hosting an auction to raise money is not a new idea. In fact, auction has been part of the Rhode Island PBS tradition since 1978. The way auctions are conducted has changed over time, however, with more and more non-profits – Rhode Island PBS included – moving away from the chaos of live auctions to the quieter (but no less exciting and hotly competitive) arena of online auction.

The worldwide stage notwithstanding, the greatest support for Rhode Island PBS Benefit Auctions traditionally comes from the local audience – individuals who share a particular fondness for and loyalty to Rhode Island PBS. More than just engaging in a transaction, these local bidders from all across the tri-state viewing area are invested in the station. They share a special pride knowing they have contributed to the success of their very own public television station – an organization that values their engagement and appreciates their support.

Donors are the other essential element in the equation of auction success. For more than a decade, a loyal partner in Rhode Island PBS’s fundraising successes has been the New England Toyota Dealers. Each year for the past dozen or so, the New England Toyota Dealers have donated a brand new vehicle to the Rhode Island PBS Benefit Auction, attracting hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support the public television station’s programming and operations.

This year’s Benefit Auction, which opens September 22, features the 2013 Toyota Prius v, named “Best Overall Value of the Year for 2013” by Intellichoice. The 5-passenger Toyota Prius v delivers performance, legendary fuel efficiency, and was chosen 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The long list of this model’s features is posted to the Rhode Island PBS Web site,

Two other unique items are offered in the Rhode Island PBS Benefit Auction for 2013: a luxurious train trip and a decorative wall hanging.

Pullman Rail Journeys provides the round-trip sleeping accommodations, meals and beverages for two between Chicago and New Orleans, a trip valued at $3,900. Travelers may choose to begin their trip from either city. The Category B Double Bedroom features an upper and lower berth, private toilet and sink, and lounge services available throughout the journey.

The wall hanging, donated by Rustigian Rugs of Providence, is a contemporary piece made of fragments of older Persian and Turkish flat woven kilim carpets, depicting antique decanters through an arched window. Donor valued at $2,495, the face of the piece is 100% wool. This piece was designed and fabricated in Istanbul, Turkey, and makes a bold artistic statement at an impressive 3 by 5 feet (actually, 2-feet 11-inches wide by 5-feet 1-inch tall).

For photos and more information about the 2013 Rhode Island PBS Benefit Auction featuring the 2013 Toyota Prius v, please visit