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November 13, 2013

Auction's goal: Raise $25K for rail trail sculptures

Saturday event aims to match $25,000 donation from bank

HAVERHILL — They are halfway home — and by Saturday the people raising money for sculptures along the Bradford Rail Trail hope to reach their goal.

Organizers are trying to raise $50,000 to commission sculptors from the region and even across the country to create art work for the trail.

They hope the effort will make the trail a destination for locals and tourists.

The Team Haverhill civic group and the Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail conjured up the plan to place the sculptures on the trail in a project called the Art Walk.

The groups will have an All Aboard Auction Gala Saturday night at Haverhill Country Club, 58 Brickett Lane. The event’s goal is to raise $25,000 for the sculptures. That would double the amount of money available for the project because the local Pentucket Bank has already donated $25,000.

Tickets to the auction are $50 per person, and will not be sold at the door. Tickets must be purchased by sending a check to Team Haverhill at P.O. Box 5034, Haverhill, MA 01835 or at the Team Haverhill web site — www.teamhaverhill.org.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and a buffet dinner begins at 7 p.m. The event will feature a live and silent action and live entertainment.

The trail is along an old railroad bed on the Bradford side of the Merrimack River, across from downtown. It is being groomed to give people a place to stroll, run and bike along the river.

As part of the entertainment at the auction, Sandra Huerta Vitti of the local Spotlight Players will sing “Chattanooga Choo Choo’’ and “Sentimental Journey.’’

With TV meteorologist Matt Noyes of Haverhill as the auctioneer, the event’s planners said they have some interesting items up for bid. They include an African safari photo trip worth about $6,000, Team Haverhill member Timothy Jordan said.

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