When the auctioneer raises his gavel at UNICEF's Audrey Hepburn Society Ball on Friday night, he will be touting one very special item provided by the event's co-presenting sponsor Tenenbaum Classic Jewelers — a pair of diamond and pearl earrings and a double strand necklace of South Sea pearls.
Tenenbaum owners Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black donated the knock-your-socks-off items in tribute to the gala's honoree, Barbara Bush, known for her signature multi-strand pearl necklaces.
The former first lady agreed to be photographed in the pearls and actually selected the earrings to be auctioned with the necklace. She was presented a selection of three pairs of earrings and quickly picked her favorite. She was photographed in the jewels and will autograph the photo for the highest bidder.
Bradfield and Black didn't stop there. They are contributing $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 gift certificates to the raffle, "so the winners can definitely get what they want," Bradfield says.
In an interesting twist on raffle sales, $100 gets you one ticket, $500 seven tickets, $1,000 buys 20 tickets and, for the big boys, $5,000 will get you 150 tickets.
The gala takes place at the Hilton Americas-Houston and headlines Faith Hill.