In a show of support for the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children (JCF), 500 American Gem Society (AGS) Conclave 2003 attendees raised more than $70,000 for the industry’s charity. Held at the Austin (Texas) Renaissance Hotel on April 5, the affair—”Blazing the Trail to Excellence”—included a celebrity auction as well as a special visit by “Wish” child Benjamin Bottlinger of Georgetown, Texas. Benjamin and his family recently learned that they would be traveling to Hawaii for a dream vacation thanks to JCF’s “Wish-A-State” program, which is funded through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since 1999, more than 300 such wishes have been granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation on behalf of members of the jewelry industry.
The live celebrity auction featured autographed boxing gloves from Muhammed Ali and Leila Ali; a Brooks & Dunn autographed jacket; an Atlantis vacation package; and some extraordinary jewelry items. The raffle featured four VIP tickets to a Tony Bennett concert, four VIP tickets to the set of Everybody Loves Raymond, and two Continental Airlines tickets. Together, the auction and raffle raised $57,000, with other contributions bringing the total to $70,000.