I certainly don't cover business news - it's not my beat. But when Ernest Perry of Perry's Fine, Antique & Estate Jewelry sent an invitation to a party in honor of the store's new location in the gold building (how appropriate!) at 6525 Morrison Blvd. across from SouthPark mall, I knew I had to be there because he is the hardest working man on Charlotte's charity scene.
Friday, March 9, 2012
He, his beautiful wife Priscilla, and members of his expert staff generously support numerous charity events throughout the year by offering items for silent and live auctions. And now his oldest daughter, Hadley Perry Pacheco, is joining them as a new member of the Perry's at SouthPark team.
That is enough to make them golden in my book, but Ernest takes it to a whole other level by donating his skills as an auctioneer to many charitable live auctions. Talented Observer staff writer Mark Price captured that side of Ernest in a wonderful profile that ran several years ago.
During the eight weeks that Price followed Ernest for the story, Ernest's average was up to two auctions a day that raised $50,000 per event for schools and charities. At that time, his total was already in the millions of dollars raised, and it's probably climbed a few million more since then.
That's an incredible gift that Ernest shares with this community that he and his family love so much. And if you've ever seen Ernest in action doing a live auction at a charity event, you know that his skills really are a gift. It is an amazing thing to watch. He can get thousands of dollars out of people even for items that might not normally create a buzz (he once sold the first spot in a school's car-pool line for $2,000).
One of his secrets is that he constantly reminds those who are bidding that they're not there to get a deal, they're there to give to a good cause. Charlotteans have such big hearts, they practically throw their wallets at him when he starts putting it all into perspective for them.
Another thing I admire about Ernest, Priscilla and Hadley (now that I'm getting to know her), is that they are truly genuine people who are not only sincerely nice but also a ton of fun to be around.
During the opening party for their beautiful new store that's worth a visit whether you're buying or selling jewelry, Hadley and I talked about the plan for her to eventually take over the business one day now that her father is "semi-retiring." I had to put that in quotation marks because I don't believe it, or maybe I just don't want to believe it.
"That just means he's going to work six days a week instead of seven!" said Hadley.
Posted by Olivia Fortson at 2:02 PM