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Blackmore selling it all to support worthy causes in Kenya

By Staff | Jul 5, 2012


LAHAINA – Bonnie Jean Blackmore is stepping out of the box to save the planet.

On Wednesday, July 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. at her home in Puamana, she’s hosting an estate auction – selling it all, so to speak – and donating and investing 100 percent of the proceeds to a few grand causes in Kenya.

“My plan is to first sell the jewelry and my 2000 Mercedes SLK and my artwork, then put my home on the market the next day,” Blackmore said.

Blackmore values the jewelry in her collection around $300,000.

Alison Fahland, an independent appraiser and graduate gemologist, will be at the event. She is currently appraising the jewelry.

“I am going to be at the estate sale to answer questions,” Fahland explained.

“It’s an eclectic collection of modern and designer jewelry.”

A taste of the offerings can be viewed on the web at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHNnBOmyqgc.

“She (Blackmore) is selling them at liquidation prices,” the gemologist advised.

According to the jewelry consultant, “liquidation means you’re getting rid of everything at bottom prices.”

She cited an example: “Something that would retail at $3,000 would sell for $600.”

Blackmore worked for Lahaina Galleries since arriving on Maui in 1987. She retired at age 56 in 2008.

“I was the chief financial officer for Lahaina Galleries for 21 years,” she said.

A sampling of her collection can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-aIeYDf0tM.

Blackmore described the artwork: “An original Dario Campanile, several sculptures by Steve Turnbull. I have Lau Chun, Yankel Ginzburg, Luis Sottil, Woodrow Nash, Dennis Curry and Guy Buffet.”

Front Street art consultant John Lewis will be at the auction.

“I am simply going to be there to guide people and educate them about the art that is for sale, so that they know what they’re looking at,” he said.

Blackmore outlined the bidding process. All bidders must pre-qualify at CheetahAlliance.com.

“The lower end items ($250-$5,000 at liquidation) will be by silent auction,” Blackmore explained, “and higher end items will be by sealed bid.

“To buy a bidder number,” she added, “we will require a check for $100 to be written to Wana Duma Eco-Orphanage that will be credited toward any auctions won.

“We cannot take credit cards, but there will be an option to pay via PayPal direct to the 501(c)(3); however, we will add 5 percent to the total order. Our goal is that 100 percent of all purchases will go directly and immediately to benefit the orphanage. No slice and dice,” she continued.

“I don’t even touch the money. I don’t want to touch the money. I don’t want it in my account. It goes directly to Wana Duma Children’s Project (Wanaduma.org), and it’s a 501(c)(3),” Blackmore said.

She stressed, “The money from the estate sale is going to go specifically to build this sustainable habitat” in Gilgil, Kenya.

The sale of the fully restored, bright yellow 2000 Mercedes Benz SLK Kompressor will be by sealed bid and via cashier’s check only.

Blackmore, the founder of the Cheetah Alliance and author of the audio book “The Cheetah Portal” (under the name of Bonnie J. Nelson), is a passionate advocate for the orphans in Kenya, the wild cats of the world and the proliferation of beehives everywhere.

“Nobody has a lot of cheetahs anymore. In 2006, there were 5,000 in East Africa, and now there is 1,000,” she explained.

Locally, she manages a feral cat colony at Maria Lanakila Catholic Church and previously established an adopt-a-beehive program for seventh-graders at Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina.

In Kenya, she works with Prince Sam, the “Bee Man of Africa.”

Proceeds from the sale of the Mercedes will be allocated towards the purchase of a “beehicle” for Prince Sam’s new business, Hunab Ku Apiaries, Blackmore said.

“These are investments in humanity, in these kids and in the future of our planet,” she commented.

Lewis is a champion of Blackmore.

“This is a woman who has lived comfortably in Puamana… who is on her own, who is bucking this all,” he said. “I am a member of the Rotary Club. She came in and spoke there, and I thought, ‘What is this woman possibly thinking? She is going to go down in this remote village in Africa?’

“But that is what courage is made of. I wish her the best, and I am glad to help her.”

Dan Reardon, owner of West Maui Gold Corp., is another consultant attending the estate sale.

“He will be offering his two cents and bidding as well,” Blackmore said

The estate sale is more than an auction.

“It appears we will be having the entire event at my home and have an informal picnic (as in bring your own everything) on the green space in the back,” she said.

“Summer Macedo will be singing, and rumor has it that Wilmont Kahaialii may show up, too!”

Reardon encourages others to participate: “If you can help a good cause and take advantage of good deals, sounds to me like a win-win situation.”