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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of January 9 - 15, 2002


Charitable labs do job

Sculptures sell in lively auction

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Labs auction was held Dec. 28 at Ketchum’s 511 Building, which has been doubling as a Lab Gallery for the past few months.

Larry Flynn auctions off a Sun Valley Lab, “Bird Dog” by Ted Villa, while “LABindale” Russ Lamb carries it down the runway for bidders to view at the Sun Valley Lab auction held at the 511 Building in Ketchum. Photo courtesy of Hawley Graphics

The proceeds will be split between four charities, including the Canine Companions for Independence, the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, Rescue Ranch Animal Sanctuary and the Delta Society.

Lynn Stallard and Teri Tischer, the event organizers, have been at work on this charity event for 18 months. Initially, inspired by Chicago’s cows, they created the fiberglass labs, found sponsors and hired artists. They created a web site, organized the Running of the Labs last June, made T-shirts, coloring books, posters and maps, and installed the labs around town for the summer. Then, after postponing the auction due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast, they created the Lab Gallery to house the labs until December.

The gross amount raised at the end of the auction, including an on-line sale of a LAB was $108,000. David Frei, of Smiling Dog Public Relations in Seattle and co-announcer for the past decade of the Annual Westminster Dog Shows, acted as the celebrity master of ceremonies. He quipped that compared to the Westminster dogs these were better behaved.

The stairway of the 511 Building was turned into a runway stage where each of the 40 Labs were shown, and two male "LABindales" paraded them around for the crowd of some 250 people.

The valley’s ubiquitous auctioneer, Larry Flynn, did a superlative job of whipping the holiday party goers into action. The catering was by Judith McQueen from Entertaining Sun Valley.

The glorified Chippendales, now known as LABindales, were artist Russ Lamb, whose CandleLABra went for $4,400, and Tom Christian. They not only carried each lab on the runaway, but towards the end of the evening they shocked and amazed the crowd by performing a "Full Monty." Considering the crowd had been plied with shots of flavored Stolichnaya vodka in blocks of ice, the secrets of the Monty may be difficult to recall.

Among the highest grossing Labs auctioned that night was Carol Glenn’s "Hot Dog" for $6,100, Scott Glenn’s electric green "Love’s a Bitch" went for $4,600, and Andy Hawley’s clever "HydroLAB" brought in $5,500. The latter is a glass table, around a lab, who seemingly is chasing a floating tennis ball. Owners of the 511 Building, Lynn and Tom Knudsen, bought the astronaut pooch, "Sky Lab," and plan to keep it in the building. Voted best in show, Ginna Lagergren’s "Lab Top Labscape" went for $3,500.

"They’ve all going to good homes," said Stallard. The amounts raised from the auction of both the "LibertyLAB" and "Stars and Stripes" will go to The Urban Search and Rescue dogs in New York City and to the local Search and Rescue dogs.

Dancing to a DJ, complete with dancing girls on the runway stage followed the auction. A Seattle tourist who went home with one LAB said, "This was so much fun, more than I expected."

So will this be an annual event?

"Not in this LAB time!" Stallard said.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.