Sis Frank Estate Auctions Rake in More Than $20,000 for SJSA

Residents packed R&I Patton on November 25 to bid on items from Sis Frank’s estate as part of a fundraiser for SJSA.

St. John School of the Arts officials last week celebrated a successful fundraiser thanks to the enduring legacy of the school’s co-founder, Ruth “Sis” Frank.

Frank, a passionate supporter of music and art who co-founded the school and helped ensure its continued success, passed away last November.

Frank’s legacy continued to be felt by SJSA students last month through an online auction and live silent auction of her estate, which benefited the arts school. From 1950s costume jewelry to diamond-crusted cocktail rings, Frank’s estate allowed for a variety of bids ranging from $25 to several hundred.

Enlisting the help of R&I Patton owners Rudy and Irene Patton, SJSA officials cataloged Frank’s entire estate. Part of the estate was put up for auction through the website, allowing off-island residents to support SJSA. The online auction wrapped up on Thursday, November 24, and netted the school more than $17,000.

The website owners take nine percent of the profits, and the rest will go to SJSA’s scholarship fund and operating costs.

The items which didn’t sell online, joined the rest of Frank’s estate at a live auction hosted during Mongoose Junction’s annual holiday season kick-off shopping event Evening in the Courtyard, on Friday November 25.

About 200 residents flooded through the doors of R&I Patton to get an up-close look at Frank’s jewelry, hand-held mirrors, lipstick cases and signature pearl necklaces.

“R&I Patton Goldsmithing opened their doors to SJSA to host the silent auction and house many of the items for the on-line and silent auctions,” said SJSA acting director Kim Wild. “They were instrumental in getting appraisals and research for every piece that we brought to them, which exceeded 300 pieces.  Thank you is not enough for their time, effort, expertise and love that they have given to the arts school and the memory of Sis Frank.”


“It was only successful due to their willingness to go above and beyond for the school and to make sure that Sis’ wishes were to be honored,” said Wild.
With more than 300 items total on which to bid, the St. John community came out in force to support SJSA at the Frank estate live auction, which netted the school an additional $6,000.


“The live auction was awesome,” said Wild. “We made almost $6,000 and had at least 200  people come out to the event.”

The hottest item in the silent live auction was a beautiful shrimp diamond ring, which was the night’s top seller. Online, bidders clamored for Frank’s distinctive charm bracelet, which fetched the highest internet bid, followed by a stunning cognac diamond, emerald and white diamond cocktail ring, according to Wild.

The night also featured a raffle drawing for Frank’s collector’s cabinet, which was won by a Boulon family member, Wild explained.

“A lot of people really wanted to win that cabinet since it was full of Sis’ treasures and was in her home for so many years,” said Wild. “In the end Mr. Pennywitt, who is kin to the Boulon family, won the cabinet.”

While this was SJSA’s first foray into the online auction world, the fundraiser went off without a hitch, according to Wild.

“Since this was our first time doing something like this, I think it went very well,” she said. “Of course, this has been the smoothest fundraiser I’ve ever been involved with.”

With the online auction not heating up until the final days of the sale, even Wild admitted to a few worries along the way.

“The response was just perfect in the end,” said the SJSA acting director. “At first it was very slow and I was a bit worried. But then the last three days, the bidding wars really heated up. I even got caught up in the action as well.”

Beyond the dollar amount raised through the sales, which will go to ensure that SJSA continues provided much-needed arts education on St. John, Frank’s estate sale meant even more to her many friends and supporters.

“I want everyone to know that Sis would have been so happy knowing how well this fundraiser did,” said Wild. “Not only monetarily, but the professional demeanor of each person who helped with the fundraiser was amazing. We had the best time.”

For more information about SJSA or how to support the school, check out the organization’s website at or call 779-4322.