The final numbers are still being counted, but the 16th annual Tie Day Auction run by Royal City Jewellers looks like it raised approximately $5,000 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
According to Michael Isman, owner of the store and son of Tie Day founder Howie Isman, this year's Tie Day was negatively affected by the recession.
"I anticipate when all the numbers are in, we'll be right around the $5,000 mark," he said. "Is that good? Well, the recession didn't help, but what can you do? We are happy we raised money that will allow us to buy $15,000 in food for the Food Bank."
In 2011, more than $7,500 was raised from the annual tie auction started in 1996 by Howie Isman and loans manager Ken Basso. Howie Isman passed away in 2010 and Basso has continued the tie day tradition, working with Michael in procuring innovative and unique ties for each year's auction.
This year's offerings included such world famous stars such as Donald Trump, Jay Leno and chef Gordon Ramsay.
But the tie that drew the largest bid was one signed by all four members of the rock band KISS, which went for $495.
"Gene Simmons is still a really popular guy," said Isman.
The jewelry and loan store had a big wrap-up party on Saturday afternoon as the bid deadline for the ties was 3 p.m. on Nov. 24.
"We had Global meteorologist Mark Madryga hosting and Vancouver Whitecaps legend Carl Valentine was also there. We also had a local celebrity, Cody Husband (from the Hamilton Tiger Cats), who was there on Saturday," said Isman. "It was very well attended."
There was also a bonus: a silent auction for four exclusive items: three hand-painted Gary Weston ties, including a Trevor Linden/Vancouver Canucks creation, and an oldtimers' hockey jersey signed by Cliff Ronning, Theoren Fleury and Bryan Trottier.
Isman chose to look at the positives from the tie auction.
"It was a bit of an off-year, money wise, but we can buy more than $15,000 of food for people in need," he said. "It's a winner for everybody. I know that we'll do it again next year and we'll keep on trying to make it better."
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