It was only days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook that Beth Bogdan knew she had to do something to help her hometown.
“I was watching TV. All these people were doing all these wonderful things for the town and donating their services, and I started thinking there has to be some way I can help,” Bogdan says, “I’m in the music industry.”
Her work and time will come to fruition next week, when her organization Music For Newtown auctions off nearly 100 of pieces of music memorabilia online. So many items arrived recently that Bogdan says she needed to extend the auction a day, going from March 25 through 28.
Items include a Fender Stratocaster signed by Taylor Swift, DVDs signed by Elton John, a bass signed by the members of Blink 182, and a guitar signed by The Eagles. All the auction’s proceeds are going toward the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
Bogdan has been with Republic Records for the last fourteen years, and is the label’s Senior Director of Artist Relations. A Newtown native, she attended Head O’Meadow Elementary School, Newtown Middle, and the high school.
“I didn’t want to do anything like have a benefit concert in town, I didn’t want to draw more attention to the town that it didn’t need at the time,” Bogdan said. “So doing an online auction, you can open up to the whole United States, you can raise a lot of money, but its not interfering with anybody in the actual town with having more press or anybody in town.”
Taking advantage of her industry contacts, Bogdan sent out word to several artist managers, who contacted other managers they knew. Soon support swelled beyond Republic Records and across the industry.
Signed vinyl sleeves from Florence And The Machine and Gotye are listed along with a tambourine from Lisa Marie Presley, signed Jewel CD’s, and tickets to see One Direction in Los Angeles. Fairfield’s own John Mayer contributed a signed guitar, and Eddie Vedder gave a signed tour poster.
Despite the amazing response, Bogdan has understandably gone through a range of emotions while putting the benefit together.
“I’ve gotten very very excited about how much has been donated and about how many amazing things we have in the auction,” she says. “But every once in a while something reminds me of why I’m having the auction, because of the terrible tragedy, and it makes me sad. I’m very happy to be raising money, but it’s for such a sad, sad reason.”
As for what happens after this auction, Bogdan says she hasn’t gotten a chance to think that far out. A second could be on the horizon, or any number of events.
“People are still reaching out and still trying to send things, and I could probably keep collecting things for another few months and have something from everybody in the industry.”
The Music For Newtown auction begins Monday, March 25 at 3 p.m. and goes until Thursday, March 28 at 9 p.m. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Click here for the official auction site, and for more information go to www.musicfornewtown.org.