Hospice's antique roadshow creates buzz

Gainesville residents Robert and Claudia Avery listen to antique appraiser John Sikorski as he estimates a monetary value for the couple's gold pocket watch, German paintings and a pair of German ceramic figures during an "antique roadshow" event at Haven Hospice of Gainesville on Saturday.

Published: Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 9:34 p.m.

The interest in antiques locally once again became crystal clear at Haven Hospice's third annual antique roadshow on Saturday.

"All the tickets were sold out in 30 minutes," marveled Jenni Williams, public relations coordinator with Haven Hospice. "We extended (the show) an hour later to accommodate everyone."

All told, more than 100 tickets were sold for the event, which featured antiques expert John Sikorski.

"He's donating his time to be here, so all the money from ticket sales goes straight to Haven Hospice," Williams said.

Those who purchased a ticket for $5 on Saturday morning were assigned a time later that afternoon to return to the Haven Hospice Attic store to have their items evaluated by Sikorski.

The money raised by ticket sales will go toward Hospice's community programs, which include grief counseling and support and children's programs.

"All of these programs are free to everyone regardless of whether they're in our care or not," said Sandra Caswell Hice, a public relations coordinator for Haven Hospice. "The event also brings community members in that have never been here. They learn more about us and our services and that's the most important thing."

Sikorski laughed when Tom Hill, a Union County resident, put his item on the table.

"I don't know what to tell you," Sikorski said.

The item was a rotary telephone in the shape a golden elephant.

"We found it in a pawn shop in St. Augustine. It actually works but I don't like it because it has a rotary dial," said Helen Hill, Tom's wife and an avid collector of elephant figurines. "I've got an old China cabinet and it is jammed full of (elephant figurines)."

Linda Shoe, a Gainesville resident, brought cameras and binoculars that were used by an insurance investigator in her family in the 1920s.

The economy didn't have any influence on Shoe's decision to have her items appraised.

"It's just something we've been wanting to do and we saw the opportunity," Shoe said.

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