Lots of stuff up for sale at big museum fundraiser

What do a bowling ball, ticket to the Pittsburgh Symphony and a Jack Butler pastel painting have in common?

They are all part of a treasure trove of items logged in for sale at the annual Night at the Museum fundraiser at the Venango Museum in Oil City.

“This a big event for us with all proceeds going into the general operating fund,” said Betsy Kellner, the museum director. “It will be an interesting evening.”

The Night at the Museum event on Saturday, Oct. 13, begins at 5:30 p.m. with musical entertainment by Cindy and Ken Hall, a social hour with food and refreshments, and an auction conducted by Bill Bellis.

Tickets, priced at $40 per person and $75 per couple, are limited to 70 patrons. They may be purchased in advance at the museum on Seneca Street.

“While nothing in the museum collection will be auctioned, we have many items donated by friends and supporters of the museum,” said Kellner. “I think we have something for everyone.”

Included in that mix are a pastel painting by the late Jack Butler of Oil City and an oil painting by 91-year-old Joanne Wolfe, a retired teacher.

A set of 12 decorative plates bearing art by Norman Rockwell and entitled “Rediscovered Women” will be auctioned. Various other china pieces, including a tureen, decanter and 92-piece Bridal Rose china set, are on the list.

A number of antiques, including a vintage four-slot coin dispenser used by trolley and bus drivers and a few old metal legal document boxes, are also included.

“Two unusual things are a Gannon University freshman cap and a St. Joseph High School varsity cheerleader letter,” said Kellner. “Just some fun stuff.”

A perennial favorite in the Night at the Museum event, now marking its third year, is what is called the Pittsburgh Package.

Kellner said the offering includes tickets to the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh Zoo, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Aviary and a signed lithograph featuring Steelers player Antonio Brown.

In addition, the museum night will feature several gift baskets, donated by various local businesses, to be awarded during a silent auction.

“We’re still taking donations of items for the auction,” Kellner said. “They don’t have to be antiques but really just some new or better used items. All of it benefits the museum.”