This year, Via’s traditional fundraising event took place for the first time in the majestic Agnes Monastery in Prague. Two hundred guests, fans and supporters of Via Foundation gathered to promote philanthropy and appreciate the beauty of Czech art and design. Thanks to their generosity, the charitable auction raised CZK 5,537,000 ($254,000). Via Foundation will use the proceeds to support active people who are changing their communities from the bottom up, thus collaboratively and patiently strengthening democracy throughout the Czech Republic.
The event moderator was Libor Bouček. Bidders could choose from 16 items in the public auction and another 62 items in the silent auction. The item that attracted the most attention was a guided walk through the Stag Moat at the Prague Castle grounds in the company of architect Josef Pleskot and President Petr Pavel, which, after a thrilling bidding war, was auctioned for CZK 555,000 ($25,000), which was also the highest price a bidder has ever paid for a single item in the entire history of Via’s auction. The second-highest bid went for a commemorative document with Japanese motifs given to gymnast Věra Čáslavská at the Tokyo Olympics, which soared from a starting price of CZK 50,000 ($2,300) to CZK 310,000 ($14,000).
A sculpture of a head by Martin Janecký, created using a unique inside glass bubble shaping technique, went for for CZK 260,000 ($11,900). A drawing made of concrete by Krištof Kintera and a painting entitled Future, which was donated to the auction by Pasta Oner, each went for CZK 160,000 ($7,300). The item that jumped most from starting price to winning bid was a night ride in a subway measuring car, rising from a starting price of CZK 5,000 ($230) to CZK 120,000 ($5,500).
There were also exclusive works by leading Czech designers and jewellers. A ring with tourmaline and diamonds by jeweller Luboš Korbička was auctioned for CZK 150,000 ($6,890), and a hand-cut vase called Odette, inspired by Swan Lake and donated by Rückl, also attracted a lot of attention. All items were donated to the charitable auction.
During the evening, there was also a raise-the-paddle event, during which all bidders could “just donate”, i.e. pledge gifts of any amount to Via, without competing for an item. This year, a record 56 guests took part in the raise-the-paddle, together raising CZK 1,920,000 ($88,000). These funds will be used to support community projects in Czech villages and towns.
We thank all the donors of auction items and guests for their generous donations and goodwill. The proceeds of the auction will support Via Foundation’s mission and enable more Czech to work collaboratively to improve their communities. Thank you.