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"Sincere thanks to Operation Shoebox New Jersey for your great support and wonderful care package. It arrived at a perfect time and brought much joy and cheer. With organizations like yours and students like those found at St. Michaels in Cranford - even during difficult times - our nation will prevail. Thanks for all you do."

Col. Bradley Thompson Special Operations Command Central 515 FWD/CG


Auctioneer sells sports memorabilia to benefit Operation Shoebox

BRIDGEWATER – Alfred Finocchiaro of Alfred’s Auctions in Hightstown is the winner of the New Jersey State Society of Auctioneers 2010 Bid Calling Contest held in conjunction with an auction of sports memorabilia at TD Bank Ballpark on Sunday, Aug. 15 to benefit Operation Shoebox New Jersey. 
Runner up was Zachary Shelly of Auctioneer List Services in Eatontown. 
The sale – held during a rain delay on the concourse of the ballpark - raised $1,562.50 for Operation Shoebox New Jersey. The money raised will be used to ship personal care packages to U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Auction highlights included a Patriots team-signed bat, $140; a Jeff Nettles signed bat, $80; a Josh Pressley signed bat, $80; two Patriots team-signed baseballs for $120 each; a Sparky Lyle signed baseball for $65 and the “Somerset Patriots Experience” package, $450, which included a luxury suite and an opportunity to meet Lyle, the Patriots’ manager, on the field prior to a ballgame. 

Finocchiaro is the owner of Alfred’s Auctions, based in Hightstown, and has been gaveling auctions since 1980. He was first exposed to the business by his father, who bought and sold wholesale produce. 
“My earliest memories are of him buying and selling, from Pittsburgh to Washington and Boston,” he explained. His father also owned a farm, and was a frequent visitor to local auctions where he’d buy tractors and other farm machinery. 

“There was an auction about two miles from our house, and that was his favorite thing, every Thursday night. I was 8 when I went to my first one, and by the time I was 13 I was working there,” he recalled. “I worked there for 16 years and I don’ think I missed any more than two Thursday nights.” 
This is the second year the NJSSA annual statewide bid-calling contest benefited Operation Shoebox New Jersey. 

Central New Jersey auctioneer Joe Bodnar of Bodnar’s Auctions, winner of last year’s competition and president of the NJSSA presided over the competition. 

Each auctioneer was judged on their personality, the clarity of their call, and how well they “worked” the crowd in an effort to get the highest price possible, according to Bodnar. 

“We congratulate Alfred and all the auctioneers who competed,” said Rod Hirsch, founder and executive director of Operation Shoebox New Jersey. “We are very grateful for the support of the NJSSA and are proud of our partnership which has resulted in more than $3,600 in donations the past two years.” 
Since it was founded in February, 2005, Operation Shoebox New Jersey has shipped over 35,000 personal care packages to U.S. troops deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Mideast locations. 
Operation Shoebox New Jersey is a registered 501c3 non-profit corporation.




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