Best Buy launched its first annual "Art of the Appliance" charity fundraiser earlier this month with a little help from friends Billy Idol, Mario Andretti and BMX star Mat Hoffman.
Each customized a Whirlpool top mount refrigerator by painting its doors, after which Best Buy auctioned off the "artwork" on eBay and donated the proceeds to the celebrities' choice of charities.
At press time, bidding was to start at $250 with a reserve of $750 for each of the units, which retail at Best Buy for $899.99. The retailer set the minimum total donation at $75,000.
"This is a unique opportunity for us to give back to the community," said Best Buy VP/appliances Chuck Conrad. "It also reinforces our commitment to the appliances category."
Rocker Idol donated his proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, racing legend Andretti earmarked his winning bid for the Missionary Vehicle Association, which supports missionaries overseas, and Hoffman directed his proceeds to the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation, the Ballet Oklahoma and The Individual Artists of Oklahoma.
Best Buy is distributing free posters depicting each of the celebrity refrigerators in the appliance departments of its stores.