Top 10 most exciting auction lots of 2014

Last year’s compendium of the 10 charity auction lots that stood out the most was so well-received, that this year’s list goes to 11. These weren’t always the lots that sold for the most money, but they were the most unique, the most exciting and the best examples of their category.

The goal of sharing these isn’t to get you to go out and contact Joe Lacob or Stuart Brioza to do see if they’ll do a lot for you: the goal is to get you thinking about creative lots you could create with a celebrity in your community.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 11 most exciting charity auction lots of 2014, presented in no particular order:

Join Elizabeth Banks Behind the Scenes of Pitch Perfect 2

Two guests get V.I.P. access to the set of Pitch Perfect 2 in Baton Rouge, LA. with A.C.T. alumna Elizabeth Banks. You'll spend the day on the set, experience behind-the-scenes filming, meet cast members, and have lunch on set.

Spending a day onset at the filming of Pitch Perfect 2 was one of the most exciting auction lots of 2014.
Spending a day onset at the filming of Pitch Perfect 2 was one of the most exciting auction lots of 2014.

A.C.T. Alumna Elizabeth Banks has turned her time at A.C.T. into an incredibly successful career. She starred on 30 Rock, Zack & Miri, and the Hunger Games. Elizabeth has also expanded her career, producing the acapella hit Pitch Perfect. She now is producing and directing the follow-up: Pitch Perfect 2.

Elizabeth is offering two people behind the scenes access to the set of Pitch Perfect 2. Make your way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You’ll have roundtrip airfare for the both of you. A luxurious hotel in which to spend 2N & 3D. But the real treat: You’ll be Elizabeth’s personal guests. Get to spend a day on set, meet cast members, experience behind-the-scenes filming. You’ll even be in the background of one of the 2 main a-capella groups songs! A-ca-awesome!

Warriors fans who can play basketball, this one’s for you!

Have a fantasy to play with the Warriors? Not that good? Well how about a game of Horse with Klay Thompson at the Warriors Practice Facility in downtown Oakland?

Just the two of you, one on one. And we’ll be happy to pinch you to show you’re not dreaming. To remember your great day, take home a signed Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson Splash Brothers jersey.

The Ultimate Sonoma Coast Food & Wine Experience for Eight

Up to four couples will experience the ultimate, personal wine and food experience at one of the most beautiful vineyards on the planet. Arrive at Peay Vineyards as early as you'd like to swim in the pond or to bike the hilly coastal ridges.

As the sun sets, Andy Peay from Peay Vineyards will take you on a walk of the vineyard followed by cheese, oysters and a wine tasting on the porch. In the meantime, Stuart Brioza, owner and chef of quite possibly the hottest SF restaurant and James Beard Award winning, State Bird Provisions, will be in the kitchen preparing your dinner. If weather permits, the big sky full of stars will be your dining room.

Each course will be paired with wines from Peay Vineyards’ cellar. That evening you will stay at the Peay's newly constructed barn house built from remnants of the old tractor barn that rested on that spot for the previous 100 years. The next morning you can take the coastal route home, perhaps picking up some oysters at Hog Island on the way. Oh, and don't forget to take home your magnum of the not-yet released 2012 Peay Vineyards Estate Chardonnay tonight.

Speedracer: Formula 3 Racing School

This package includes two days of progressive instruction from classroom to racetrack, culminating in open lapping of the world-famous Sonoma Raceway in cars capable of incredible performance. After an exhilarating day of driving, retire to your suite at the fabulous Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, where you will be pampered for two nights with a 60-minute spa treatment for two people and dinner at Santé restaurant for two.

There are driving schools, and then there is Lola Simraceway & their RACING SCHOOL. These are the cars that Formula 3 drivers train on: 300 HorsePower, 273 torque, 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds, Top speeds of 181 Miles Per Hour and capable of pulling over 3 Gs.

This is serious racing, in cars designed to hug the track like nothing you’ve ever seen before. You’ll get two days of progressive instruction: start in the classroom on driving simulators. Work your way to Sonoma Raceway’s track and the REAL DEAL. Get a chance to take on Sonoma Raceway’s corners and elevation changes in a car that will scare you, long before you scare it. Plus: 2N & 3D at the Sonoma Mission Inn and dinner for 2 at Sante Restaurant.

Dip, Duck, Dive, Dodge!

Back because YOU demanded it: Buy-in Dodgeball. Dodgeball! Eight Teams Enter, One Team Leaves!! Buy-In Tournament for 8 teams of 10 players each Friday, May 2nd, 2014: Make your way to The Burlingamer.

There will be chow.

There will be a keg.

Best of all: there will be DODGEBALL! Compete in a Round-Robin tournament. Filled with spills, chills, shagging, suicide plays, block attacks, body deflections and laughs. Come in your best dodgeball costume. Or simply come prepared to kick ass and take names. And earn the title: Burlingame Dodgeball Champions

…We’ll Have A Barrel of Dunn!

This is the chance of a lifetime…to make and own a barrel of Dunn Vineyards sourced wine…that’s approximately 23 cases of wine! Join Mike Dunn as your consulting winemaker for an extraordinary winemaking experience and produce your own Dunn Vineyards sourced 2014 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon in a Treuil French Oak barrel with commemorative “Taste of Howell Mountain” plaque.

You can get your hands dirty and learn how to do it, or drop in just for the blending, or sit back and let Mother Nature and Mike Dunn work their magic and VOILA, you have approximately 23 cases of your own unique Dunn Vineyards sourced 2014 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon! A truly one-of-a-kind addition to your cellar! Note: Wine is not for resale

Hunger Games Survival School

Unleash your inner Katniss Everdeen at Pura Vida’s Hunger Games Survival School. You and five friends will learn from your experienced survival guide, Joe Moerschbaecher as he teaches you the survival skills necessary to survive the Hunger Games.

This tour focuses primarily on the non-violent survival skills including fire and shelter building, knot tying, snares, off trail travel, and navigation. After the skills are taught, tributes will be paired in groups of two to practice the skills on their own, and be evaluated for their power rankings in these survival areas. During this school, tributes will visit two areas where major filming was done, as well as gain insight into the filming process.

This package is for six adventurous participants, ages 12 and up. Hello, World!

Two Stars and Beyond — Dinner for Four at Two- and Three-Starred Michelin Restaurants

Tourists flock to the Bay Area year-round to see the natural and architectural wonders of San Francisco along the 49-Mile Scenic Drive, cruise the cliffs along Highway One, and meander along the byways of Napa and Sonoma, but this road trip is tailor-made just for locals.

Take your time traversing our spectacular region, with spectacular culinary destinations from South Park to the South Bay, Napa Valley to North Beach on the itinerary. Your party of four will experience simply out-of-this-world wine-paired chef’s menus at Bay Area restaurants boasting two and three Michelin stars, including:

  • Atelier Crenn — Chef Dominique Crenn
  • Benu — Chef Corey Lee
  • Coi — Chef Daniel Patterson
  • The French Laundry — Chef Thomas Keller
  • Manresa — Chef David Kinch
  • The Restaurant at Meadowood — Chef Christopher Kostow
  • Quince — Chef Michael Tusk
  • Saison — Chef Joshua Skenes

Get out your calendars — you’ll want to start picking out your special dates now because this is destination dining at its most Michelin-starred magnificent!

2014 Kentucky Derby/Kentucky Oaks Package for Six

Sip mint juleps with the stars, join in a rousing chorus of “My Old Kentucky Home,” and become part of the most exciting horse race in the world. With this experience for six guests, you’ll see it all from your premium third floor Clubhouse seats for both The Kentucky Derby (May 3, 2014) and The Kentucky Oaks (May 2, 2014).

During your stay, the group will be treated to a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Churchill Downs barns and stables, and a tour of a nearby thoroughbred farm and training facility. Dinner one night will be at the storied 610 Magnolia, where Chef Edward Lee draws on fresh local ingredients to create contemporary southern cuisine. Transportation to and from Churchill Downs on race days, as well as to and from other activities, is included in this package, as are personal concierge services to help with restaurant reservations, shopping, and other activities during the stay.

Your concierge will even help with the creation of the perfect Kentucky Derby hat!

Take home six bottles of 2010 Post Parade Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Created by three friends from the Bluegrass State and made by Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, this debut vintage of Post Parade Cabernet Sauvignon combines grapes from Soda Canyon and Oakville for deep fruit and classic structure. Accommodations for three couples for three nights at the Marriott Courtyard Louisville Downtown Hotel are included. Airfare and transportation other than noted is not included.

Master the Masters!

There are golf tournaments, there are majors, and then there is The Masters. Of the four majors, three are open to the public, and the Masters is one of the most difficult tickets to get in all of sport. Two people journey to Augusta, Georgia to take in the splendor, pageantry and history of the Masters 2015 with veteran Masters attendee and school dad, Bryan O. You and a friend will be hosted and fed for four nights in a large, shared southern home.

Ready to play? Enjoy a round of golf for two on Friday, April 10 at Augusta Country Club (not to be confused with Augusta National).

Then, the main event: two badges for the final two days of the tournament at Augusta National. Saturday is moving day, your chance to see who can make the move up the scoreboard to put themselves in position to win. Sunday, the grand finale. The day the Masters is won (and often lost). Never been? Don't worry! Your host will be your personal guide to the course. Fore!

A Feast for Friends — Dinner for Eight with Staffan Terje and Stuart Brioza Together in Your Home

Chef Staffan Terje of long-time San Francisco favorite Perbacco and Chef Stuart Brioza of James Beard award-winning State Bird Provisions will bring their modern, original culinary sensibilities to the plate as they collaborate on a five-course feast for eight guests. The chefs will select five special, seasonal ingredients around which to build the evening’s menu.

Each course will feature one of these ingredients, and the two chefs will prepare dishes highlighting the chosen ingredient and reflecting their respective approaches in the kitchen. The chefs will present their dishes side-by-side, and each course will be paired with the California-grown, European-style wines of Failla.

Chef Terje and Chef Brioza’s unique and delicious dishes are sure to have your guests talking about Old World traditions and New World inventions as if they are natural companions and old friends — much like these talented chef-proprietors themselves!

All food and wine costs are included. Date to be mutually agreed upon.