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Auctions for Science: Virtual Music Lessons, Betty White Teaches Tango, and More

Cross-posted with Skepchick Events.

SkepchickCon is just over a month away and we are down to the wire to raise money for science activity supplies, educational materials, and travel expenses for the many talented people who are bringing their expertise to our panels, workshops, and activities.

This year, we have more than 40 panels and workshops, which you can see listed here, plus for the first time, we’re opening up our track room, the Skepchick Space Lab, during the day to host science and art activities.

We do all this science, skepticism, and social justice outreach and education on our own dime. We do not get a cut of ticket sales or charge anything extra for what we offer. We do not profit. At all. Breaking even would be SWEET.

This is why we hold these auctions. This is why we need your help.

If you can support the auctions by bidding or just by spreading the word, please do. If you aren’t interested in the auctions but can donate ONE DOLLAR via Paypal to [email protected], please do. If you can ask your friends if they can spare a buck, please, please do. Every dollar counts. Every penny counts.

This week, Mad Art Lab’s Ashley Hamer is donating 3 hours of her expertise to teach saxophone, clarinet, flute, or music theory over video chat or in person (if you’re in the Chicago area).

Why Ashley? I’m so glad you asked! Ashley has played clarinet for 17 years, saxophone for 15, and flute for nine, with four years of private teaching experience. She possesses a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas and has played woodwinds in numerous big bands, small ensembles, pit orchestras, and rock bands. Her current musical projects include FuzZz, a five-piece funk band spearheaded by two neuroscientists, and the Great Postmodern Nightmare, an 18-piece big band that plays original and modern jazz pieces.

You can bid on music lessons from Ashley here, for yourself or as a gift to a budding musician you love. This auction ends next Tuesday, June 3, at 9:30 pm EDT.

Also up for bid are a few vintage items donated by Gwen Pearson, a.k.a. Bug Girl.

Betty White will teach you to dance on not just one but two Dancing Made Easy albums from 1960, complete with instruction booklets!

How to Merengue and Samba


How to Tango


Sure, it’s not THAT Betty White, but does it matter when you can learn the merengue cuddle?

These albums are up for auction separately, but we will combine shipping costs if you win them both. Get your bids in before Tuesday, June 3, at 9:35 and 9:40 pm EDT.

IMG_2079And last, we have a 1963 Volkswagon type 2 micro bus model kit that has been stored away for years in its box, unbuilt, in the same basement as the Betty White albums. Click here to see more details and to bid. This auction ends Tuesday, June 3, at 9:45 pm EDT.

Can’t afford to donate or bid but still want to help out? Contact me at [email protected] (skepchickevents [at] for information on volunteer opportunities (from things you can do from the comfort of your own home to helping out at the con itself).

We also accept donations for future auctions. Have a quirky item you’re willing to part with that the Skepchick audience might like? Willing to create or donate a handmade item? Have ideas for auctions you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments or by email.

Thanks so much for your support!

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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