Furniture Auction to Help Fight AIDS

In fashion show style, fine chairs, rugs, mirrors and chandeliers will be auctioned to raise money for the United Foundation for AIDS Model Community Program at South Shore Hospital. 

"It started off as being a selfish thing," said Barrie Livingstone, part owner of the South Beach Design Group, Creative Interiors, one of a handful of event organizers. "We had furniture in our store we wanted to get rid of."

But instead of making a profit, Livingstone and his business partner decided to auction the goods and give the profits back to the community.

"AIDS has been a terrible thing," said Livingstone, who has had six friends die from AIDS since August, when he began planning the event. "It is a hideous disease. We all have to get together to fight it."

The decision for a charity was simple. Money for UFA goes directly into the community. The volunteer organization serves as the fund-raising arm of South Shore Hospital's Model Community AIDS Program. The program provides medical care, HIV testing, screening, treatment and therapy.

The auction, called Heart and Home, A Fine Furniture Auction for AIDS, is the first of what planners hope will be an annual event.

More than 50 South Florida designer showrooms, shops, antique stores and art galleries will have beds, chairs, lamps and art work auctioned to the highest bidder. Organizers say they will be offering more than $1 million in merchandise and hope to raise at least $100,000.

There will also be a $10 raffle with prizes including travel to London and Mexico City.

"It would help clear showrooms to make room for new merchandise," said Al Evans, president of UFA. "The most important thing is it will help a cause that has great and urgent need here in South Beach."

Ivonne Perez, Herald Staff Writer
Miami Herald (MH) - Sunday, November 24, 1996