Spirited bidding

For 12 years, ADT Automotive Inc. was instrumental in the fight against cancer. The company was the title and underwriting sponsor of l'Ete du Vin, an international wine auction held in Nashville, Tenn., to benefit the American Cancer Society.

So when Manheim Auctions of Atlanta purchased ADT in 2000, it made a commitment to carry on the tradition through 2003.

Nick Peluso, president of Manheim's Remarketing Solutions in Nashville and executive committee member of l'Ete du Vin, said Manheim's tagline, 'Expect more with Manheim,' applies not only to the used-vehicle market but also to everything it does.

'Manheim values the contribution the event makes to the American Cancer Society; it is a worthwhile event,' Peluso said.

This year's three-week celebration of wine culminated July 21 with 800 people attending a black-tie dinner and grand auction at the Opryland Hotel. The event raised $1.2 million for cancer research.

Manheim underwrote all production costs and staging of l'Ete du Vin so that all of the money raised would go to the charity. Peluso declined to say how much Manheim spent on the June 29 through July 21 event, but to help raise money, several auto industry companies donated vehicles and one-year vehicle leases that were auctioned off by Manheim personnel and ringmen at the grand auction.

Among the donors were:

* Jaguar Cars North America and Jaguar Financial Services, which donated a one-year lease of a 2001 S-Type.

* Audi Financial Services, which donated a one-year lease of a 2001 Audi TT sports car.

* Lincoln Division, which donated a one-year lease of a 2002 Blackwood pickup.

* Dealership Mercedes-Benz of Nashville, which donated a 2001 C240.

A smaller event, l'Ete du Vin Friends Auction, was held June 30 to generate interest in l'Ete du Vin among younger wine lovers. The bash included dinner and the auctioning of wines, trips, dinners and a one-year lease of a Volkswagen New Beetle, which was donated by Volkswagen Credit Inc.

You can reach Arlena Sawyers at asawyers@crain.com

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