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Jersey signed by Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce auctioned off for Ontario charities

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Online bidding is now open for a certified Kansas City Chiefs jersey signed by both Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce in support of a children’s charity in Guelph, Ont.

The #87 jersey was donated to the Linamar Curling for Kids event in support of the Guelph Wish Fund – a charity that grants ‘wishes’ to children suffering from serious illnesses and injuries in Guelph and Wellington County.

“We don’t know how huge it’s going to be, but we’re very hopeful,” Helen Loftin, the executive director of the Guelph Wish Fund, said on Friday.

The Curling for Kids fundraiser bonspiel and silent auction will take place on Feb. 17 at the Guelph Curling Club.

Typically, the silent auction is open only to people who attend the event in person. But because of the jersey, organizers decided that would accept online bids for Kelce’s jersey.  

“Given the hype that has happened and the way this has blown up on social media, there’s going to be an online auction of that item and a couple of other pieces,” Loftin explained.

The jersey, and its certificate of authenticity, were donated to Linamar for the fundraiser by Scottie Johnston of Jersey Sports Memorabilia in Oakville. He also donated other signed sports memorabilia, including a signed Patrick Mahomes jersey that’s included in the online auction.

In an email to CTV News, Johnston said his reason for donating the major item is simple – he wants to help raise money for charity.  

He also explained how he got the jersey.

“We traded an autographed Doug Flutie New Jersey Generals jersey and an autographed Flutie Argonauts jersey for a red and white Chiefs jersey signed by Kelce and Swift,” Johnston said.

As the Kansas City Chiefs head to the Super Bowl, baseless conspiracy theories are spreading on social media suggesting that the romance between megastar Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is part of a secret plot to help President Joe Biden get reelected in 2024. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

All money raised from the sports memorabilia he donated will be split between the Guelph Wish Fund, the Oakville Fare Share Food Bank and the Halton Women’s Crisis Shelter. Proceeds from all other auction items will go solely to the Guelph Wish Fund.

Dave Kavanagh, the employee campaign chair for the Linamar Guelph Wish Fund, said the company knew it was the perfect prize because of how popular Swift and Kelce are right now.

“Our hope is to not only to raise money for the Guelph Wish Fund, but also to raise awareness,” Kavanagh added. “When I woke up this morning, I was online at 5:00 a.m. reading The New York Post and I thought ‘I don’t know how this came about, but it’s pretty amazing.’”

Over the years the bonspiel and auction have raised more than $420,000 for the Guelph Wish Fund. This year they’re hoping to raise more than ever to help more kids and the signed jersey could help them get there.

“It’s just great to extend our reach and the more people that are able to bid, the more likelihood that we’ll have [to grant more] wishes for kids down the road,” said Jessica Hill, the interim executive director of Guelph Wish Fund.

Auction closes

Bidding on the jersey began Friday afternoon and continued into Saturday right up until the 4 p.m. deadline.

Shortly after the auction closed, the winning bid was listed as $21,000 CAD.

In all, 25 bids were entered for the highly coveted jersey.

The next highest earner at the online auction was a Kobe Bryant signed jersey, with a winning bid of $3,600 CAD after 24 bids.

According to the auction website, the winner must be able to pick up their prize in person.

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