Sale to benefit Eliminate Project
Among Paul Brenner's most unusual antiques is a bottle of sand art from 1980. The artist, Andrew Clemens, ground up stones from the Pictured Rocks at Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor. Using individual grains of this sand, he would press an image into a bottle.
The piece that Brenner has depicts an American eagle and flag.
"It's a really fantastic piece," Brenner said.
This bottle is among the 40 pieces Brenner is selling at the Rich Penn Auction Event at the Elwell Center Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds this weekend.
Over the years, Brenner has been collecting pieces from areas of Iowa that he has lived in. He has weathervanes from Mapleton, his hometown. He also has original furnishings from the Adams-Higgens House, known in Spencer as the "Old Mansion."
"When I moved to Spencer, I bought the mansion and listed it on the National Register (of Historic Places)," Brenner said. "Later, I bought the original furniture."
The period of time he spent in Okoboji is documented through an original carousel horse from the early 1900s, signs from the Central Ballroom -- now known as the Central Emporium -- and a large bug that came off the old bughouse.
Brenner is selling these artifacts to raise money for the Eliminate Project, a partnership project between Kiwanis International and the United Nations Children's Fund to wipe out maternal and neonatal tetanus around the world.
"UNICEF already has people in the ground in the remote locations," Brenner said. "Kiwanis can raise the money that they need."
To protect herself and her future children from tetanus, a mother needs three $0.60 vaccinations. Kiwanis and UNICEF estimate that 60,000 children die each year from the condition, one every nine minutes.
When the Eliminate Project began, 40 countries lacked adequate vaccinations against tetanus. Kiwanis estimated that $110 million would be required to vaccinate everyone.
To date, the Eliminate Project has raised $16 million and vaccinated mothers in six countries. Their goal is to vaccinate all 40 countries by 2015 -- the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International.
Brenner did not initially intend on selling his Paul Brenner Iowa collection at the Rich Penn auction.
"I told them that I'd sell the pieces if they agree to donate a portion of their fees to the Eliminate Project," Brenner said. "If they didn't agree to that, then I wouldn't be selling."