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Newton YMCA to host exciting autograph auction

This Saturday, the Newton YMCA will be hosting its Third Annual Autograph Auction at Fore Seasons Golf Practice Center located at 6232 Highway S74 S. in Newton.

Doors open to the event at 6 p.m. and the auction will last until about 9 p.m. The event is free.

The evening will consist of the auctioning of more than 130 silent auction items and two dozen live auction items throughout the night.

Whether you’re a fan of actors or athletes, politicians or musicians, there will be something for everyone.

With the 50th anniversary of the Nov. 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy assassination, the autograph auction will include an extremely rare and original souvenir, a print of JFK signed by five individuals who were associated with the president.

The signatures are from Dr. Ronald Jones and Dr. Robert McClelland, who both treated Kennedy in the ER at Parkland Hospital in Dallas; eye witnesses Bill and Gayle Newman who were standing on the Grassy Knoll; and former Dallas Detective James Leavelle, who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby.

Autographed items are all authentic and include paperwork.

Another exciting item at this year’s auction is from the Chicago Blackhawks, the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions. Newton Senior High School native Adam Kempenaar works for the Chicago Blackhawks and sent the Newton YMCA a Stanley Cup program signed by the entire team, a special item that the YMCA said they were unable to find another like it.

Some other featured items include: a Jack Nicklaus signed 2005 Masters flag, a Hank Aaron signed baseball, that took two years to get, a Peyton Manning signed photo, a Reba McEntire signed photo, a Lolo Jones signed bobblehead, an Arnold Palmer signed Westwood Golf Course hat, an Emmitt Smith signed Cowboys helmet, a KISS band signed photo, and much more.

The autograph auction is a yearly event and all proceeds will support the Newton YMCA. The money raised will benefit budget funds and special projects.

Last year, the money went toward facility computers and community events, but this year the YMCA is hoping to put funds toward the diving board project.

“We hope to get enough funds for a diving board because we haven’t had one for over a year,” said Newton YMCA marketing and membership director Jessica Lowe.

A new diving board costs $16,500. The YMCA has raised $12,000, but they have yet to make their goal for a new and safe board, said Lowe.

Any extra money raised will go toward community events.

“We’d like to able to offer more community events for free because we know people appreciate those nights, things like movies or free family fun night events,” said Lowe. “It’s nice to have that money for things we deem important throughout the year.”

Free appetizers will be served to attendees by Okoboji Bar and Grill. Other food and drinks can be purchased at Fore Seasons Golf Practice Center.

“I would like to extend a thank-you to Fore Season’s for letting us use the facility for free. That was very generous,” Lowe said.

Staff writer Kate Malott may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 422, or at

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