Old Town Cape's annual auction has been revamped this year in hopes of raising even more money than before to benefit downtown revitalization.
The Charles L. Hutson Auction at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus will for the first time include a benefit concert.
"We've been doing the auction for several years, and we were looking for a way to freshen it up and do something on a grander scale and touch more people with it," said Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape.
This year's auction is co-sponsored by Isle of Capri and Southeast Missouri State University and will be followed by a performance by Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group from Indiana University.
Old Town Cape is a not-for-profit organization working on revitalizing downtown Cape Girardeau. It is one of six nationally accredited Main Street Programs in Missouri under the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Old Town Cape district covers 130 blocks, more than 300 businesses and more than 9,000 residents.
Funds raised by Old Town Cape during the annual auction are used to help cover the organization's operating costs.
"It helps cover some administrative costs. A piece of it goes into almost everything we do," Mills said. "We don't earmark it for a specific project, but it's what allows us to be there and continue what we do."
Isle donated two trips to the auction, one to Isle's casino in Boonville, Mo., and another to its Biloxi, Miss., casino.
Isle spokeswoman Jill Alexander said that from the beginning Isle of Capri recognized the importance a vibrant downtown in Cape Girardeau.
"We believe this partnership with Southeast Missouri State University and Old Town Cape is an important step toward supporting the revitalization of downtown and look forward to collaborating on other events in the future," she said.
About 50 local businesses have donated more than 150 items for the auction. A dozen items will be sold in a live auction and the rest will be grouped into three silent auctions, Mills said.
Items include jewelry, tickets to River Campus shows, artwork by local artists, a wireless surround sound system, gift baskets and gift certificates to area restaurants and shops.
People may purchase tickets for both the auction and concert, or just the concert, Mills said.
The auction event will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday and include a cocktail reception with food provided by several downtown restaurants. Tickets for the reception, auction, preferred concert seating and a VIP meet-and-greet following the show are $45 and may be purchased by calling Old Town Cape, 334-8085.
About 200 tickets are available for the auction and so far about 150 have been purchased, Mills said. In addition, about 450 tickets have been sold already for the concert alone. Tickets for the concert start at $15 and may be purchased by calling the River Campus box office at 651-2265.
518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, MO
418 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO