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This past Thursday, February 28th,  family and friends of Assistant District Attorney John Sellars threw him a party and invited the entire county.  Unfortunately, Mr. Sellars was unable to attend, as he is currently in Pittsburg awaiting multiple organ transplants.  And the party wasn’t just any party.  It was a concert and auction to raise money for the ADA who is suffering from a rare blood disorder, Factor V Leiden, which causes his blood to clot at a rate higher than a normal person.   Bluegrass performers Jimbo Whaley and Greenbriar entertained the crowd while they bid on silent auction items and enjoyed hors dourves.  (Photo courtesy of WBIR.com)

The event, held at the Main Stay Suites in Pigeon Forge, started at 6 PM, and the organizers quickly encountered a problem they didn’t anticipate, but very much appreciated.  Turn out for the event was far greater than expected.   Bidders for both the silent and live auctions formed a sizable line in the corridor just outside the banquet and dinner tables inside were in high demand.  Originally the silent auction was scheduled to conclude at 7:30, but there were still lines of people waiting to see all of the items, so the auction company decided to give the crowd an additional thirty minutes to get their bids in.  At 8, lines were still present around the items, so the final deadline to get all bids in was pushed back till 8:20.  Silent auction items varied from framed Robert Tino prints to an autographed Todd Helton Colorado Rockies jersey to weekend getaways at various locations across the country.  All items and baskets were donated by local businesses and residents. 

While the silent auction was underway, the live auction got started.  First out of the gate was Dolly Parton memorabilia.  Other live auction items included two signed Peyton Manning jerseys, a fly fishing trip & a bear hunting expedition – both facilitated by local legendary outdoorsmen.  The final auction item of the evening was a 1995 Jeep Wrangler.   Donated by McNelly Whaley Ford, the Jeep added $4,400 to the trust set up at Mountain National Bank in Mr. Sellars’ name.

There were also guest books and donation boxes positioned just outside the banquet hall doors.  Attendees were encouraged to write a special note for Mr. Sellars showing him love and support. Clips from Knoxville television stations were played explaining his condition, followed by a special recorded video “thank you” message from the honoree.  To read more about Mr. Sellars’ condition and give encouragement you may visit his website here.  He is also keeping a blog of his life in Pittsburgh as he prepares for his transplant.

Donations can be made to the John Sellars Trust at Mountain National Bank PO Box 6519 Sevierville, TN 37864 865.428.7990

As a side note – Jay didn’t leave the auction empty handed.  While he lost the bidding on the Wrangler, he did walk away with a SmartBank basket-including a $50 savings bond, $500 certificate for countertops from Countertop Sales, a wrought iron park bench, “Down the River” – G. Webb’s newest print, $100 certificate for Goforth Tires, a BB&T basket – also including a $50 savings bond, a 1 night stay at the Renaissance St. Louis Hotel – including complimentary breakfast for two, a $250 certificate for a cake from Smoky Mountain Cakes, and a framed “Bear in the Thicket” print by Robert Tino.

Update: The Mountain Press reports the John Sellars benefit auction generated over $73,000 to the cause of helping John with his medical condition and time in Pittsburgh. Read the newspaper article here.