GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Brian LaViolette Foundation hosted its first watch auction in Chicago, with a watch party live-streamed at the Automobile Gallery in Green Bay.
Timepieces from famous figures like Betty white, Mason Crosby, and Tony Shalhoub were all sold to the highest bidder. However, the highest bid was for Pope Francis’s Swatch watch, which sold for $45,000.
People could bid in-person at the event in Chicago, online, or over the phone. While online bidding began a few weeks ago, sales were finalized at the auction.
Foundation board member Darrel Burnett says, “We knew that people from around the world were aware of it, but until it actually started live today, we had no idea [what the response to the auction would be]. To see the response, to me, is extremely satisfying.”
Scott Hemauer from De Pere was at the auction and purchased a Rolex Submariner. He says, “It’s a creative way to [raise money]. In the end, it’s nice to give a donation to a great foundation.”
Brian LaViolette was 15 years old when he passed away in 1992. Shortly after, his family created the foundation in his honor to award scholarships to high school seniors.
The idea for the auction came about when Brian’s father, Doug thought of Brian’s watch collection.
LaViolette says, “We hope that people are touched by Brian’s story and touched by this concept that a simple act of kindness by giving something as simple as a wristwatch that can help keep track of time, for generations to come.”
To view all the watches that were sold, click here.