For the people who visited Lehighton Ford on Monday night, it was a enlightening experience.
For a small admission fee that will help ARC of Carbon County with its mission of providing recreation to mentally challenged adults in Carbon County, they learned if their family treasures had a monetary value or should be saved for purely sentimental reasons instead.
About 20 people attended the fun night with Harry Rinker, antique afficionade and expert antiques appraiser.
Rinker's comments bordered on comedy, as he explained to people what their items were worth. All took the comments well because it was finally an opportunity to find out if a painted rug had a value or if the miniature soldiers were actually worth anything at all.
The painted rug, brought in by Rosemary Manbeck of Palmerton turned out to be a folk art piece, which Rinker noted might have a value of $65 to $75 in the right market. Manbeck also brought along a violin that Rinker noted might have a warm soft sound since it was aged. Bringing the value of the piece a little higher was the label inside it that said it was improved by C.W. Martin, but a print from 1862 didn't fare too well because Rinker explained that the print wasn't something that most people would want to hang in their home.
Kay Christman of Mahoning Township was delighted to hear that one of the small animal carvings she brought along might be worth a few hundred dollars. She was also told that her miniature toy soldiers were worth about $12 to $15 each.
A couple who wished not be named brought in a flight hat signed by Amelia Earhart and Julie Johnson. Rinker said that the value of the piece would grow by leaps if the signature could be authenticated. He said that if there was a photograph of Amelia and Julie together to prove that the two knew each other it could be worth several thousand dollars. He explained that Amelia did not write her signature in a cursive style, but printed it. The signature was printed on the fight hat, which looked very old. Rinker also gave advice to the couple how to better store the item so it would not be further damaged.
Delbert LeVan said that Lehighton Ford holds a fundraiser every year for ARC of Carbon County and has done so many years.
"The funds are used to provide recreational outlets for the adults enrolled in ARC of Carbon County," said Mari Pizur. "We all like to do things with our friends and that is what they want to do too. I really like having Lehighton Ford help us because they always do fun events such as this to help us."
Pizur said they have tried a variety of events in the past and last year's event was a bake sale which netted approximately $450.