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$4,300 Bid Brings Bachelor Down From Auction Block

October 16, 1986

CHICAGO (AP) _ Television sportscaster Mike Adamle says he’s not worth a nickel, but an admirer paid $4,300 in a charity auction for the chance to go on a dream date with one of Chicago’s most eligible bachelors.

While Adamle’s promise of a bar-hopping night on the town wasn’t the most exotic of the dates offered by the 50 men taking part in the fund-raiser to benefit dying children, it proved one of the most appealing to the more than 500 women bidders.

″I’m not worth five cents, but I’ll make sure she gets the most for her money,″ Adamle, 36, said as he headed for a meeting with his date in a secluded chamber of the downtown hotel that auction organizers had dubbed Cupid’s Room.

The winner, a shy 34-year-old woman who would not reveal her name, said she came to the auction for fun and hadn’t set an upper limit for her bid.

She said she picked Adamle and several others out of the auction program, liked his looks on the stage, and when the price started climbing, she played along.

Proceeds from the event went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants wishes to terminally ill children. Organizers said similar auctions in other cities had raised as much as $51,000.

Participants paid $25 a ticket to bid on a variety of dates, from a night on the town with a Chicago Bears football player to a skiing weekend in Vail, Colo.

The bachelors ranged in age from 23 to 60-year-old Bob Paddock, whose offer of dinner and dancing went for $350. Chicago Bears Paul Blair, Stefan Humphries and Dennis McKinnon were the only nationally known celebrities in the group, which was selected by the organizers.

The bidders were mostly in their mid-20s to mid-40s. While some wore expensive dresses, furs and jewelry, many were middle-class women looking for fun. ″A hundred people at my office each gave me $10 to spend,″ said Lisa Wollan, 30, a marketing specialist for Kraft Inc. Her high bid of $625 got her a date with ad man Harry Sherman.

″They said just pick somebody your own age that you think you can get along with,″ she said. ″I figured I’m in marketing and he’s in advertising so we’ll have something to talk about.″

Adamle’s offer - limousine service to dinner, bar-hopping and two complimentary aspirins for the day after - was a far cry from weekend in Vail planned by 27-year-old accountant Larry Ferrere, but that didn’t seem to matter to the women.

Other unusual dates included a double date with Bears Blair and Humphries, a champagne balloon ride, a private tour of the Lincoln Park Zoo with bird curator Kevin Bell and a multiple choice date: dinner at McDonald’s or two nights and three days in New Orleans.

Not all the women could win, but even the winners weren’t all happy.

An embarrassed Pam Malpede, who bid $985 for an evening at the theater with television weatherman Andy Avalos, said she didn’t intend to spend that much.

″I got carried away by the bidding,″ she said. ″I’m a secretary. I don’t make that much money.″

Avalos tried to comfort her, saying the money was for a good cause.

″I’ll make the date worth your while,″ he said.

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