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More than $10,000 is raised at auction to benefit Elswick

Sunday's event at the Four Points Sheraton benefited West virginia State Trooper R.J. Elswick, who was wounded in an October sho

Sunday's event at the Four Points Sheraton benefited West virginia State Trooper R.J. Elswick, who was wounded in an October sho

January 20, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The bidders at Sunday's auction for West Virginia State Police Trooper R.J. Elswick included fellow officers who came from several states, some avid sports enthusiasts and even Elswick family members who drove four hours for the event at Hagerstown's Four Points Sheraton.

"The rest of the family got snowed in," said Linda Elswick Bolen, aunt of the trooper who is recuperating at a Georgia hospital after being shot in the head in October.

She and her sister, Susan Elswick Fisher, and their husbands were spirited bidders during the auction, which attracted more than 70 people and raised more than $10,000.

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Both Bolen and Fisher are sisters of the trooper's father.

The Bolens journeyed from a small town near Wheeling, W.Va., while the Fishers drove up from Christiansburg, Va.

Ted Bolen got an Alabama CD for his sister, who was unable to attend the auction sponsored by Hagerstown City Police, Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The Fishers got into the spirit, snatching up some sports memorabilia and other items offered by auctioneer Jack Downin of Williamsport, who donated his services and two assistants for the event.

One of the top bidders Sunday afternoon was Mickey East, who works for the Dallas Police Department.

"I was in the area skiing when I saw the article in the local newspaper about the auction for the police officer who was shot," East said.

Among the items East bought were a handcrafted clock from a Hedgesville, W.Va., craftsman, a CD player, a mini stereo, a 53-piece set of flatware, several autographed sports pictures and some Fenton art glass.

But his favorite acquisition by far was a patriotic framed picture of an American eagle, and the stars and stripes that was autographed by former President George H.W. Bush.

"I would have gone as high as $500 for that picture because he's from Texas, too," East said. Fortunately for East, the picture sold for approximately $150.

Among the high-profile items that brought top dollar were an autographed Ricky Skaggs guitar, $350; a Mike Mussina autographed baseball, $190; and a Michael Jordan autographed Wizards pennant, which went for $225, according to Officer Todd Webster, one of the organizers of the auction.

In addition to those items, the auction also featured Aberdeen Ironbirds baseball hats, Meadowlark Lemon autographed basketballs, autographed Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark McGwire Wheaties boxes, a Brooks Robinson autographed baseball, a Doug Flutie autographed football, a Derek Jeter autographed rookie card, a Richard Petty autographed poster, a Cal Ripken Sr. autographed baseball card and a Mark Blount autographed baseball hat.

Other collectible items sold included a shadow box Civil War bullet, button and ball; an Amy Grant autograph; dozens of cash gift cards; guitars; a three-day vacation getaway; a Greaseman autographed book; several golf outings; and a duck/goose hunt.

Food gift certificates were donated by Texas Roadhouse, Ground Round, Roccoco, Garfield's, Four Points Sheraton, Burhans Station, Brothers Pizza, Rhubarb House and T.G.I. Friday's, as well as Phil and Jerry's meat certificates.

Elswick remains hospitalized in Georgia but is expected to return to his home in Martinsburg, W.Va., by mid-February.

"The family is very encouraged by Bobby's progress," Linda Bolen said.

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