Friends of VINP Wraps Up Record-Breaking Online Auction


Barbara & Jeffrey Katz (left) are presented with the top auction prize of seven nights at Isla Vista by Karen Vahling, right.

The 4th Annual Friends of V.I. National Park Online Auction raised over $43,000 this year, shattering the goal of $30,000 as well as last year’s record of just over $28,000.

Friends is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and to promoting the responsible enjoyment of this unique national treasure.

All money raised from the auction will support Friends and assist them in continuing their work on behalf of Virgin Islands National Park, which includes 23 programs and projects this year.

“People love shopping for a good cause, especially when all of the proceeds benefit our VI National Park, and they get great deals too,” said Karen Vahling, Friends of VINP’s development director. “We had 58 items — more than ever — which sold over the three week auction period that ended December 9. We had everything from villa stays to excursions, jewelry, art, services and retail items.”

“Response from our local businesses has been great and they enjoy being featured on this popular online event,” said Vahling.

The top seller of the auction was a seven-night stay at the luxury villa, Isla Vista, which sold for $6,500 but was valued at nearly $10,000.

In second place was a seven-night bareboat charter aboard at 52-foot Hylas sail boat which sold for $4,500 and retails for $9,100. Some items sold for more than retail value as bidders showed generous support for the cherished V.I. National Park.  

Friends will continue to host the online auction around the same time in years to come, giving holiday shoppers and vacation seekers a great opportunity to find something unique and do some good at the same time. 

Friends would like to thank all the donors who made the auction possible, their media partners for helping them to get the word out and of course, all the bidders who clicked and shopped online to push them to over $40,000!

For those wondering about the Gala, don’t worry, it’s around the corner! 

Mark the date on those calendars for Saturday, February 23. It will be hosted by Steven and Pamela Deckoff at their beautiful Peter Bay home “Presidio del Mar.”

Invitations will be sent shortly, but Friends supporters can also contact Friends of V.I. National Park at 779-4940 for more information or to buy entry and raffle tickets.