Sweet items under the hammer raise $500k

SANTA FE, NM — I see those enticing riverboat cruises glide through idyllic Bavarian storybook towns across my TV screen and wonder how it would be down there at eye level, but never have gone so far as to look into it … it’s not quite as familiar to me as logging on to the airlines.

Now I know that the Easy Place to get that riverboat cruise is the annual Sweetheart Auction! One could be had there simply by raising your paddle in the live auction and soon you could be floating down the Rhone, while at the same time helping The Cause. Cancer.

There were many spectacular items this evening to raise a lot of money for cancer needs in New Mexico! Since we visited friends who live in Jinja, Uganda, a few years ago and were lucky enough to go off on an incredible 10-day safari then, I can highly recommend the once-in-a-lifetime safari in Zambia! Just do it – put up your paddle, it’s so easy.

Closer to home, enthusiasts could buy a fly fishing trip on the San Juan River – that’s all the rage! And what would you give for the opportunity to spend a gourmet, candlelit evening in private conversation with the lovely Marsha Mason? It’s priceless, but someone traded a nice donation to cancer for the privilege!

When my great-grandmother died in 1970 of Cancer of the Everything, it was the dreaded Big C Killer, terrifying, with hardly a survivor and few treatments. The surgeons opened her up for her Big Cancer Operation, took a look around and sewed her back up.

When she awakened, they said, “Tell everyone goodbye. You’re gonna die.” Really. We’ve come a long way towards “The Cure,” but cancer is still an assassin. You don’t want to get it and, if you do, you want to attend to stopping it fast.

So what about folks with cancer who live in rural communities around Northern New Mexico, far from treatment centers? The poor ones have a hard time with getting their treatments. The travel can be long and difficult. They may not have a vehicle and, if they do, the gas and wear and tear on it is a burden on their budget.

They may have to stay overnight, or for several days, and do not have the money for a hotel. Dining out while they’re gone is more expensive than eating at home and it is emotionally stressful on the entire family.

The Cancer Foundation for New Mexico comes to the rescue, solving all of those problems for these cancer patients. Need a ride, need a room or someone to talk to about the upheavals in your life? They are there with the solutions – transportation, assistance with lodging and meals while away from home, and counseling for the cancer patient and for the family.

About 880 people attended this major Valentine’s weekend benefit at the Convention Center, raising $500,000 buying not just the fantastic high-ticket dream items, but also over 400 smaller pieces in the vast silent auction that was a veritable mercado of interesting and useful merchandise to entice every pocketbook.

In addition to the auctions, the famous raffle at $100 a chance offered the winner his/her pick of four exotic trips for two – Macchu Pichu; Costa Rica; Scotland golf; or a Tuscan culinary escape. We bought a ticket and struggled with the options.

All were so tempting and we could really use a relaxing week or so in the golden Tuscan countryside learning to cook Italian food well but, in the end, Costa Rica won out since we haven’t been there … then, boo hoo! … . You guessed it.

But fun try! We’ll do it again next year.

This is one of the most successful fundraising events in Santa Fe and you always know when it’s going to be, sweetheart.

See CFFNM.org.

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email apm@ashleymargetson.com.


Andrea Garcia and Diane Woods.


Cancer survivors and board members Barbara and Donald Meyers.


Marty and John Murphy.



Rebecca Roll and Oliver Williams.



Jennifer Schwalenberg and Paul Thompson.


Don and Sharon Wright with David Rettig at the Sweetheart Auction.


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