Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Own a piece of Earnhardt's car

Brighton the Night gala auction will peddle the metal

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — You could own a piece of sheet metal from a Chevrolet race car driven by the late Dale Earnhardt if you attend Brighton Center's gala and auction March 10.

        An anonymous donor has given Brighton Center, the largest service agency for low-income families in Northern Kentucky, a 12-inch by 10-inch piece of metal — probably from a fender. The metal piece is authenticated as coming from one of Mr. Earnhardt's NASCAR Winston Cup cars.

    • What: Seventh annual Brighton Center Brighton the Night gala and auction. Hundreds of items to be auctioned.
    • Where: Northern Kentucky Convention Center, One West RiverCenter Blvd., Covington.
    • When: March 10.
    • Tickets: $100 a person. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the auction. No tickets at the door. Call Brighton Center at (859) 491-8303.
    • Where the money goes: Brighton Center is the largest community service agency for low-income families in Northern Kentucky. Money raised through the auction goes to services such as child and community development, employment training, youth services and the family center.
        The seventh annual Brighton the Night gala, held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, features hundreds of auction items, from wine racks and original art work to toys and trips.

        The Earnhardt piece is possibly the most significant. A glance on the Internet at the eBay auction site shows a piece of sheet metal from an Earnhardt race car with a $5,000 price tag, just one of more than 68,000 Earnhardt-related items available on the Internet auction site.

        “We have a die-cast metal model of the car to go with the piece of sheet metal,” Brighton Center development director Peggy A'Hearn. said Tuesday.

        The sheet metal is not from the car the NASCAR legend was driving when he was killed Feb. 18 at the Daytona 500.

        She also pointed to a pair of model NASCAR cars, one a Dale Jarrett No. 99 model, the other an autographed Bobby Labonte Frankenstein car that carries a retail price of more than $800 in the collector books.

        Other sports memorabilia to be auctioned at Brighton the Night include a Michael Jordan autographed Bulls jersey; an autographed Muhammed Ali boxing glove; a University of Kentucky autographed team ball from the 1995-1996 championship season; an Olympic Dream Team I autographed card set; a baseball autographed by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa; and a Tiger Woods Masters display with golf ball plaque and photo.

        Also offered at the auction are paintings by well-known Cincinnati artists Robert Knipshild and Scott Addis.

        Tickets must be purchased in advance to take part in the auction. For information, call Peggy A'Hearn at Brighton Center, (859) 491-8303, Ext. 2031.

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