It was a hit: South African do-gooders collect funds at Dumbo auction

Auctioneer Ariella Kuper kept the rowdy audience in line and put up some prized items for sale by talking at break-neck speed in her southern hemisphere accent, at Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo on April 25.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

This auction was a knock-out!

Brooklynites swapped gloves for art and raised thousands of dollars for two South African do-gooder organizations at an auction at a Dumbo boxing gym on April 25.

Boxing and art enthusiasts came together to bid on South African art and sculptures at the “Fight for Good” auction at Gleason’s Gym on Water Street, which had some top-notch work up for bid, according to one attendant.

“I really enjoyed the artwork. The caliber of it was superb,” said Crown Heights-based model Patrick Hazlewood, who attended the event with his dad Dr. Arthur Hazlewood. “Particularly the sculptures, they were way out of my budget but they were great.”

The father, a retired surgeon, worked for the do-gooder group and co-hosts of the event Operation Smile South Africa, for which he provided medical aid in Peru.

Crown Heights model Patrick Hazelwood (right) attended the event with his father Arthur and tried his hand at betting for an artwork, but lost to a higher bidder at the last minute.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

Auctioneer Ariella Kuper kept the rowdy audience in line and put some prized items up for sale by talking at break-neck speed in her southern hemisphere accent, according to Hazlewood.

“I’d never heard anybody speak that fast and I’ve been to other auctions,” he said.

In addition to the South African art, prizes included including a pair of boxing gloves of fighting legends Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, and proceeds went to Operation Smile and the co-hosting do-gooder organization Ubuntu Pathways.

Hazlewood tried his hand at bidding for an artwork, but was outbid last minute by someone else.

“Somebody paced me out at the end and got it for $50 more — so close,” he said.

Instagrammer Topher Brophy (right) had a great time with his dog Rosenberg, wife Chantal Adair (left), and Monica Barnwell.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

The art was very appealing to many of the guests and people working with the event, such as one social media guru, who was there to promote the event online.

“It was very colorful, the art was very unique and South African, very colorful and inventive,” said Instagrammer Topher Brophy.

The Williamsburger has a popular social media account that he shares with his dog Rosenberg — whom he refers to as his son — and manages together with his wife Chantal Adair, both of whom joined him at the event.

Fitting for the popular gym, the event also had a punching bag with prizes for the best strike.

But the true fight was for making the world a better place and collecting funds to help those in need, according to Brophy.

Operation Smile chief medical officer Ruben Ayala, M.D., raises a glass at the auction.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

“Is was a celebration for people who wanted to give back and help people in need,” he said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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