How much would you bid at auction for a visit to Los Angeles that included a Desperate Housewives walk-on role and dinner with Teri Hatcher?
Oh, your dinner mates would also include ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson and Rich Frank, chairman of the talent management company The Firm. And Frank would sweeten the deal with five bottles of wine from his Frank Family Vineyards and the first case of a yet-to-be-released wine called Promise.
That was the offering at a charitable auction June 5 in Napa Valley, and it brought in more than half a million bucks. According to Frank, the night began with Jay Leno doing about 30 minutes of material that the Tonight Show host clearly wasn’t just mailing in. When the package that Frank had put together came up for auction, the bidding ramped up to more than $100,000, then stalled—until Teri Hatcher took the stage. At that point, Frank says, “the bidding went a little crazy.”
Stratton Sclavos, chairman and CEO of the Internet company VeriSign, outlasted rival bidder Tatiana Copeland, owner of Bouchaine Vineyards, with Sclavos agreeing to pony up $300,000. Then Frank, Hatcher and McPherson huddled for a moment and offered the same package to Copeland, who signed on for $280,000. The event, called Auction Napa Valley 25, raised more than $10 million for non-profit health care, affordable housing and other local needs. Nice.