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June 13, 1987

RIGHT: An auction paddle. The bidder's assigned number fills the empty space, and the bidder holds up the paddle to bid.


BELOW: "Bill" Foley, Helen Foley, and Andy Polak.

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June 12, 1987 Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Celebrity items go on the block to benefit Rod Serling Foundation

An auction tomorrow to benefit the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation will feature items from many of the late writer's famous friends and colleagues of the late writer.

The auction will be held from noon to 5 p.m. in the fourth-floor auditorium of Boscov's department store, Court Street, Binghamton.

Michael Pipher, chairman of the auction, said he sent letters to some 500 celebrities and received items from 110. While a good many are autographed photos (including three from Jackie Gleason), there are several other objects as well.

Among the more unusual items are a self portrait from comedienne Phyllis Diller, the vest worn by John Travolta in his recent TV production of The Dumbwaiter and the badge worn by Jack Lord on his long running TV series, Hawaii Five-0.

Also donated: a tennis dress autographed by Brooke Shields, a signed copy of Robert Redford's book The Outlaw Trail and a silver candy dish from Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward with their initials engraved on it, as well as signed posters and books.

Penny Singleton, best known for playing Blondie in a series of Blondie and Dogwood films, sent four cups with sterling holders. She start starred in a Twilight Zone episode after the death of her husband and wrote that Serling did much to help her through that despondent time.

Also on the auction block will be contributed merchandise (tam local merchants including lamps, watches, a diamond pendant and a ceiling lamp.

All proceeds will benefit the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation, established to honor the writer who graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1943 and often returned to speak to high school and college students.

Creator of the classic television show The Twilight Zone, Serling also was a prominent writer during the so-called "Golden Age of television," turning out such scripts as Requiem for a Heavyweight and Patterns. He also wrote several film scripts, including Seven Days in May.

In a letter sent to the celebrities. Pipher, who is also president of the foundation, said thus far the organization has created a permanent exhibit on  Serling's life and works at The Forum, 228 Washington St., Binghamton; dedicated a New York State Historical Marker in front of Binghamton High school; and held the first Rod Serling Film Festival.

Future goals include getting a postage stamp in honor of the writer and having The Forum named after Serling.

Money raised at the celebrity auction wall be used to acquire more materials for the museum, a mobile display unit and sustain scholarships in Serling's name at the high school, as well as to underwrite the second annual Serling Film Festival m November.


June 14, 1987 Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Low Turnout Disappoints Serling Organizers

Low turnout and low bids left the organizers of a "celebrity auction" to raise money for the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation "very disappointed."

"The people who are here are having a bell of a time," said Helen Foley, Serling's high school teacher and one of the driving forces behind efforts to create a permanent memorial in his hometown for the Twilight Zone creator. Foley said about 109 people bid at the auction at Boscov's auditorium in Binghamton, and the crowd was rarely larger than 50 people at a time.

The auction raised $4,429, with a portion of that total coming for donations, Foley said. Organizers had been hoping to bring in as much as $8,000, she said.

"We really thought we'd do much better," Foley said. "We didn't have very many people and they didn't bid anything."

Organizers had no explanation for the light attendance. Even the weather - intermittent thunderstorms - seemed to favor the auction, but the people did not turn out, Foley, so the explanation of auctioneers Bob and Sallie Connelly, who said Saturday is generally a bad day for an auction, came true, Foley said.

The auction did attract the expected collectors of Hollywood memorabilia, said foundation committee member Barbara Furch Many of those attending appeared to be there in hopes of picking up specific item, and they seemed to know exactly what they were looking for, she said.

Items up for auction appealed to a broad range of tastes, There were practical items such as gift certificates and merchandise from local stores and restaurants; collectibles such as autographed pictures and mementos of celebrities including Bob Hope, Kirk Douglas, Lucille Ball, Charleton Heston and Rodney Dangerfield; and some true fan items such as a broken director trophy belonging to Robert Stack, Karl Malden's American Express tote bag and a pair of underwear donated by Pee Wee Herman.

Many of the items brought bids well below the values listed in the auction program. An original painting by Phyllis Diller valued at $70 drew a top bid of only $80, while tennis dress autographed by Brook Shields valued at $200 was had for a $30 bid.

Some of those at the auction were there for a specific item, while others said they just turned out to see what was going on the block.

Paul Gold of 1011 Forest Road, Endwell, said he went to the auction specifically to buy an album autographed by Miami Vice star Don Johnson, but added it was "interesting to see what else they would have."



June 12. 1987 Press &  Sun-Bulletin * Good Times

Brush with fame

Celebrity items go on the block to benefit Rod Serling Foundation

An auction tomorrow to benefit the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation will feature items from many of the late writer's famous friends and colleagues of the late writer.

The auction will be held flora noon to 5 p.m. in the fourth floor auditorium of Boscov's department store, Court Street, Binghamton.

Michael Pipher, chairman of the auction, said he sent letters to some 500 celebrities and received items from 110. While a good many are auto rallied photo, (including three from Jackie Gleason), there are several other objects as well.

Among the more unusual items are a self. portrait from comedienne Phyllis Diller, the vest worn by John Travolta in his recent TV production of The Dumbwaiter and the badge worn by Jack Lord on his long‑ TV series, Hawaii Five-0.

Al,, donated: a tennis dress autographed be Brooke Shields, a signed Lips of Robert Redford's book The Outlaw Trail and a candy dish from Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward with then initials engraved on it, as well as signed posters and book.

Penny Singleton, best known for playing Blondie in a series of Blondie and Dogwood films, sent four cups with sterling holders. She starred in a Twilight Zone episode after the death of her husband and wrote that Serling did much to help her through that despondent time.

Also on the auction bloc will be contributed merchandise from local merchants including lamps, watches, a diamond pendant and a ceiling lamp.

All proceeds will benefit the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation, established to honor the writer who graduated Binghamton Central High School in 1943 and often returned to speak to high school and college students.

Creator of the classic television show The Twilight Zone, Serling also was a prominent writer during the so‑called "Golden Age of Television" turning out each scripts as Requiem for a Heavyweight and Patterns. He also wrote several film scripts, including Seven Days in May.

In a letter sent to the celebrities, Pipher, who is also president of the Foundation, said thus far the organization has created a permanent exhibit in Serling's life and works at the Forum, 228 Washington St., Binghamton; dedicated a New York Stale Historical Marker in front of Binghamton High school; and held the first Rod Serling Film Festival.

Future goals include getting a postage stamp in honor of the writer and having The Forum named after Serling.

Money raised at the celebrity auction will he used to acquire more materials for the museum, a mobile display unit and sustain, scholarships in Serling's name at the high school as well as to underwrite the second annual Serling Film Festival in November.