More than 100 female actors, singers, athletes and other celebrities have donated autographed pairs of their shoes to an online auction that benefits the Lancaster Opera House.
The historic theater at 21 Central Ave. is selling the shoes through eBay in its fifth-annual “Kick Up Your Heels” fundraiser, which continues through the end of this month. The opera house has raised $35,000 in the first four years of the fundraiser and has taken in $10,000 since the first of the month in this year’s edition, Executive Director David Fillenwarth said.
The opera house reaches out to the celebrities directly, or through their agents, by email to request a donated pair of shoes, typically high heels but occasionally shoes worn in athletic competition.
This year’s donors included singer Kelly Clarkson, pro golfer Natalie Gulbis, tennis ace Maria Sharapova and TV’s Vanna White.
Clarkson donated the brown-and-tan Jimmy Choo heels that she wore while singing the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl. The shoes fetched $2,025 on eBay, Fillenwarth said, “which I believe is a new record for us.”
And Sharapova donated a pair of sneakers she wore at the U.S. Open tennis championships.
The celebrities help out by encouraging their fans and Twitter followers to join the auction, and the buyers have come from all over the world.
“People do spend a lot of money to collect these things,” said Fillenwarth, who keeps the donated shoes at his home until he needs to fulfill the sales. (“My basement has been like a Payless shoe store.”)
Visit the opera house’s website, www.lancopera.org, and click on the “Kick Up Your Heels” icon on the home page to see what’s currently available on eBay.
Also this week:
• The intriguing history of the Buffalo waterfront area now known as Canalside – long home to Buffalo’s “red light district” – is the topic of a presentation by local author Edward J. Patton this afternoon at the Lancaster Historical Society, 40 Clark St.
Patton’s presentation will be based on the book, “America’s Crossroads: Buffalo’s Canal Street/Dante Place,” which he wrote with Mike Vogel and Paul F. Redding. His talk begins at 2 and is open to the public.
• The Town Board meets at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave., a meeting moved from Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. A work session at 7 will precede the full board meeting.
A joint session of the Town Board and the town Planning Board will meet at 6:30 that night to review the environmental impact of two projects, including plans to install gas pumps at the Tops Friendly Markets at 6363 Transit Road.