What would you be willing to spend for an opportunity to have Rob Gronkowski come to your house and play some Xbox?
For three generous bidders at the Joe Andruzzi Foundation's New England Celebrities Tackles Cancer Gala, the answer apparently totaled up to $36,000.
Part of an auction staged Monday night during the benefit at the Putnam Club inside Gillette Stadium, the prize was originally supposed to be one four-hour session of gaming with Gronk. But when bids escalated quickly the decision was made to divide the opportunity, and ultimately three different people bid $12,000 apiece. It's still to be determined exactly how much time each winner will get with the Pats' All-Pro tight end, but organizers have assured that each of the high bidders will indeed get their own in-home visit with Gronkowski and his thumbs. Presumably once the left is out of its cast.
When everything was totaled up, the money pledged for the chance to hang with Gronkowski were part of an incredible sum of $500,000 that the Gala raised to help families cover household expenses during cancer treatments and aid funding for pediatric brain cancer research at Boston Children's Hospital, as a variety of Patriots past and present that joined other celebrities in lending their support to Andruzzi -- the ex-Patriots offensive lineman who won three Super Bowl championships before beating cancer.
“We hoped to make this year’s gala our best ever," the foundation's president and founder said of its fifth annual event, "and we definitely succeeded."
In addition to the live and silent auctions, the night started with a symposium focused on care giving and brain tumor research, then included a speaking program during which Patriots owner Robert Kraft thanked Andruzzi and his wife, Jen, for their work on behalf of cancer patients. The program also featured patients who have been helped by the Joe Andruzzi Foundation sharing their own stories, and after introducing its (Up)Beat Cancer rallying cry earlier this year -- to stress the power of positivity in conjunction with Andruzzi's fifth remission anniversary -- the Foundation presented its first (Up)Beat Award to Lisa Scherber, director of patient and family programs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for her work with young patients and their families.
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