Washington, D.C.--- June 6, 1998 --- A signed calendar from Newt Gringrich and accompanying correspondence garnered the highest bid at a charity auction for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).
The autographed calendar skyrocketed in value after his office faxed a letter to the Task Force yesterday stating that the donation was made without the Speaker's knowledge or consent and that Gingrich "does not support the Gay and Lesbian Task Force [sic]."
The calendar and that letter, along with the letter his office originally sent with the Calendar wishing the Task Force a "successful event," was a featured item in the auction which included more than 600 items, including cruises and trips, art work, and Redskins tickets.
After much spirited bidding, the "Gingrich Package" went for a whopping $1900. "We're incredibly grateful to Speaker Gingrich for his generosity and his help," stated Kerry Lobel, NGLTF Executive Director. "The Speaker has our assurance that we will commit the proceeds from his calendar and the letters to fighting the anti-gay intolerance and discrimination he spurs," added Lobel.
The Speaker's office also aided, albeit indirectly, in garnering not only money but publicity for the event. The auction, along with letters from his office, was mentioned in today's Washington Post "Style Section." Appropriately, the winner of the "Gingrich Package" lives in Georgia and was raised in Cobb County, Gingrich's own home county.
"Contrary to the reputation Newt Gingrich gives Georgia, our state is at the forefront of pro-gay and pro-lesbian issues. I thought it fitting to bring the calendar home to Newt since he was so generous to give it to us," said Garrith Xavier-Carey, the winning bidder and a real estate professional from Atlanta.