AMAZING CUSTOMS MAKE 2ND ANNUAL WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT AUCTION A SUCCESS

2014 wwp group picture

This year the artists really put their hearts into the custom vinylmation pieces.  The work was absolutely incredible!  The art definitely needed to be appreciated in person as the pictures do not do them any justice.  The success of this years WWP would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the amazing artist and the winners of these beautiful customs.  I loved hearing the reasons as to why some of the artist choose to do the piece they did.  You can read the artist’s inspiration or who they honored in “Celebrate July 4th by Supporting WWP Disney Vinylmation Auction” article.

How much was raised?

The 10 day auction which started on July 4th and ended July 13th brought in a total of $2368!!  Woohoo!  Do you know how many wounded soldiers that will help?  More then a few 🙂

Group 1 brought in $911 (artist:Tom Shultis, Kathlene Evans, Chris Porter, Bethany Norris, Haily Windell, Josh Edwards, John Paul Amezcua)

Group 2 brought in $781 (artists:Nannette Simard Belgen, David Falk, Jerry Sinner, Deborah Min, Craig Larson, Roman Rodriguez, Matt Ferry)

Group 3 brought in $676 (artists:Mike Vetrone, Brian Shapiro, Jason Cracraft-Windell, Ryan Marella, Jennifer Bednarski, Celeste Villanueva, Mickey Real)

 

I’m always curious about the story behind the reason.   Just like my curiosity with the artists and their reasoning of  military branch or character that they did.  So why not ask the other half that made this benefit successful, the winning bidders.  I wanted to know why they bid on the particular custom other then for the WWP cause.

2014 WWP winners: What they won and why they bid on it

Roland Abalos– took home 3 customs made by Jerry Sinner, Mike Vetrone, and Chris Porter.  Roland explained,”this is a great cause to support.   Kids are sent to these places at the behest of our politicians. Injured or not, they deserve the best support the American people can provide. These fund raisers are a great way for collectors , like myself, to give back in some small measure. My brother served on the Mighty Mo in the first desert war. Thankfully, he came back whole in mind, body and spirit. Others aren’t so lucky. Wounded Warrior Project is a great effort BY the citizens of this great nation to give back to those who give the greatest sacrifices FOR the citizens of this great nation! If I can give more, I would without blinking an eye.”

Roland

 

Susan GuntherTook home 2 customs one from Tom Shultis, and the other from Roman Rodriguez.  Susan was in the Navy as a dental officer for 6 years.  She said,”I was at King’s Bay Sub Base for a year, and then went green side with the Marines for the next 5 years. I had a blast! I couldn’t have asked for better people with which to work. I wish I were still in sometimes.”  Go Susan!!!  Thats what I call hardcore and pretty amazing for a woman to go from Navy to Marine.

Susan g

Jennifer Miller– took home a custom from Kathlene Evans.  Jennifer explained why she got Kathlenes’s Pluto custom,”first and foremost its for an awesome cause. But even closer to me is the fact that my dad, not a wounded warrior per say but a disabled veteran…23 years in the Navy, starting his career as a medic, serving in Vietnam and getting a bronze star, is truly my hero. On top of that I’m a K9 handler for the federal government, so Pluto in military seemed very fitting!!!”  Thank you Jennifer’s daddy for your service.

kathleen evans

 

Cathy HaynesTook home 2 customs one by Craig Larson and the other made by Bethany Norris.  Cathy explained that her daughter and son are both interested in joining the military and both are HUGE history buffs.  She said the reason she bid on the Elsa vinylmation was not because it was Elsa but because of the fact she was a female Army soldier.  Cathy,”My entire household takes the commitment that soldiers/marines/sailors make very seriously, and we like to honor that commitment whenever we can. These auctions are a fantastic way to do so for such a great cause.”

Cathy H

 

Stephen Franklin– took home 3 customs from Haily Windell, Matt Ferry, and Jason-Cracraft Windell.  Stephen said his bidding was mainly for the cause.  Seeing as Stephen works in the Federal Courts he felt that these vinyls would look good in his office next to his Bronze Statue of Justice.

stephen

 

Denatook home Nurse Minnie made by artist Deborah Min.  Dena said she bought Nurse Minnie because she has been an RN for 38 years and her Dad is a WWII Veteran and also served during the Korean War.   He served with the Army Air Corp, Air Force, and Texas Air National Guard.  I’d like to say Thank You to Dena’s dad for his service to our country.

deborah min

 

Tom Sharkeywon “Seven Seas Mickey” by John Paul Amezcua.   Tom, like all the other bidders, bid mainly for the cause and is also a Disney fan.  Tom does have a love for Naval history, so bidding on “Seven Seas Mickey” was a given for him.   Tom said,”this piece kind of harkens back to a different time and world.”

John paul amezcua

 

 

Barry Cole– won Josh Edwards “Little Green Army Man”.  Barry stated that they use to have a large collection of vinylmations.  They pretty much had every complete set, but have since downsized the collection into two categories.  They now only collect Pixar and everything red, white, and blue.  Barry,”this was an easy one for us, it covered 2 genres we like.  We are always happy to donate to our troops and glad we could be part of such a great cause.”

josh edwards

Jennifer Hardwick– Took home Jennifer Bednarski‘s Jessica Rabbit in the Navy.  Jennifer replied,”I bid on this particular vinyl for 2 reasons. I absolutely love Jen Bednarski’s customs and the Navy is the only branch of military that I did not have family serve in. Over the years we’ve shown our love and support to the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard because of the family enlisted over the years. So I thought it would be nice to tip our hats to the brave mean and women of the Navy, especially in honor of Jen Bednarski’s father-in-law.”

jennifer bednarski

 

 

Alan B- won “Army Doc” from artist Brian Shapiro.  Alan told me he bid on this vinyl for 2 reasons.  He expressed his love for the cause and how important it is to him.  Alan regularly supports WWP in the past, present, and will continue to support the cause in the future.  His second reason for bidding on Army Doc is because of Brian, the artist, who happens to be his best friend.  They live in different states, and Alan saw a great opportunity to support his best friend and WWP.

brian shapiro

Jennifer Bednarski – not only did Jennifer donate a custom to the 2nd Annual WWP, Jessica Rabbit in the Navy, she also won David Falk‘s Wounded Marine.  Jennifer,”I wanted David’s because I thought the design was right on target and super impactful. … plus it’s very richly painted.  I hadn’t planned on bidding at all but this Wounded Warrior Hercules really called to me. WWP is such an important cause! I’m glad I could not only donate but support with a bid as well.”  I bet its pretty flattering when another artist loves your work.  Thank you Jennifer for all your support with this years auction.

david falk

 

Stephanie Crouch– is taking home Ryan Marella‘s Pilot Mickey.  Stephanie bid on Pilot Mickey in honor of her father in law.  He is an Air Force veteran that served during the Vietnam war.  She also said she loves hearing his stories of being stationed over seas such as Bitburg AFB and in Libya.  Stephanie, “This is a great way to keep the stories alive in our family.”

ryan marella

 

Staci O– took home the 9″ POW MIA custom made by Mickey Real.  Staci and her husband are huge vinylmation collectors but are also big supporters of the WWP as well.  Staci felt that this custom would be a nice addition to their collection as well as supporting the cause that they love.  She did say that her husband had a special POW MIA t-shirt that matches this custom vinyl and that was their deciding factor in choosing to bid on this vinylmation over another.

mickey real

 

Jason Cracraft-Windell – is another artist that donated a custom, Purple Heart in Glass Shadow box, as well as winning “Snow White Rosie” custom from artist Celeste Villanueva.  Jason said,”I wanted Snow/Rosie because when we started this years WWP fundraiser it was an idea I had in my mind to do for my piece, but I’m terrible at faces. But I really hoped someone would do it. It was a great concept and fit the theme to the “T”.  Plus, I’m a big fan of Snow White, Toy Story and Steamboat Willie, all of which are first run for Disney.  Celeste is an amazing artist and this is my 3rd custom of hers that I own.”.

celeste villanueva

 

 

Jason Lingerfelt– took home the 9″ custom “A History of Bravery and Sacrifice” made by artist Nannette Simard Belgen.  Jason was prepared to win this stunning beauty.  He wanted to set it next to his  WWP 9″ Iwa Jima custom, also made by Nannette., that he won last year.  I don’t blame him.  I’d want this one sitting in my office too.

nannette

 

Isn’t it great to hear some of the reasons why they bid on specific vinyls?  Its also nice for the artist to know where their creation is going and why it was picked.  This year there was a little more of a female presence, showing more of their role throughout military history.   It was pretty cool to learn that some of our female winners are military veterans themselves or currently have a hand in the safety of Americans.  Many of the artists and winners had parents, siblings, and other close family members that served or are currently serving in the military.  For these artists and the winners, their contribution to the 2nd Annual WWP had special meaning to them and because of their support they have helped several wounded soldiers.  It is this type of contribution that let our injured soldiers know that we care and they matter.  For all of us that were actively involved with this years WWP auction, it was our way to say thank you to all those soldiers that bravely put their lives on the line for our freedom.

With that said, I’d like to thank the artists for creating their masterpieces and donating them.  If it wasn’t for the artists, WWP Vinylmation auction would not even be possible.  And a big Thank You to all our bidders and winners, if it wasn’t for y’all the opportunity to help injured soldiers wouldn’t have happened.  It takes a team to make anything happen and for anything to be successful.  This year we had a strong team of artists and winners.  My biggest and only helper was Jason-Cracraft Windell, who also donated a WWP custom.  He held things together and helped me run the show when my duties as a military spouse pulled me away.  Thanks for all your hard work and for being a great friend!

Even though it was only a 10 day auction, it takes months of preparation for the artists and for me.  I’m always amazed at how quick the artists are to be a part of this cause.  I really could never thank them enough and I really feel the world should see their art.  There are many artists around, but there are not many that will take the time to donate to a special cause.  So to me these artists pieces come with something extra special, its something from their heart.  I truly feel that an artists commitment to donating to any cause is a reflection of their character.  For me, I wanted to do something more for the artist other then just saying thank you.  I try to get as many people to see their customs.  This year the vinyls went to Scott AFB, hung out with Disney Radio for a little bit, and sparked the interest of a really large national non-profit organization that wants to partner up with me next year.  So next years auction might be a little different if we partner up, but I am super excited about it.

What is more exciting for the artists, and still a work in progress from last year, is the fact that the Disney company will be looking at their WWP vinylmation creations.  Maybe an official Disney military vinylmation set could come of this?  Who knows.  I have been asked to prepare biographies for the artists again this year, as i did for last years artists.   I do know that Disney is aware of the WWP customs from last year and will also see this years.  Again, maybe nothing will come of it, but it’s a dream come true for any artist to showcase their work to the one company that drives their inspiration.  I have to thank Kathleen Kaiser, Disney Program Development, for putting up with my persistence to meet and for her to see the WWP vinyls in person.  She is the one that helped spark the attention of Disney Radio President last year, who then sent all the bios and photos to the head honchos in the Disney company.

ITS BEEN A GREAT SUCCESS CAN’T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!!

 

**Special Thank you to Vinyl Madness-we couldn’t have done it without your help.  A huge Thank You to VK Auction House for lending their support in allowing us to auction off the customs on their Facebook site.