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Blue Healer Auctions Up and Running for 2018-19 Season - First One Is for Army And Ends Soon

Mike Lee send us this update on Blue Healer Auctions for Duke basketball tickets. First auction is for the Army game and closes Sunday night.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round
Mar 15, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Duke Blue Devils mascot performs during a time-out against the Iona Gaels during the first half of the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. Duke won 89-67. 
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The auctions are ready for bids, but there are a couple of noteworthy changes this season.

First of all, Dr. Timothy Berg and his family are stateside at the moment. Second, this year begins the first season in which Iron Dukes donations made in exchange for the privilege of buying basketball season tickets at face value are no longer at all tax deductible. These developments required some thought as to how (or even if ) I should manage the BlueHealers auctions.

Ultimately I have decided to continue the BlueHealers auctions for at least one more season. My costs have increased significantly as a result of the inability to deduct the 80% of the Iron Dukes donation that I was able to in the past. I am not certain that I can sustain this level of giving, but I am committed to do so for this season. Certainly the success of the auctions will be a factor in decisions regarding future seasons.

The proceeds of the auctions will go to a different organization but will ultimately benefit the same people: Africans without access to surgical care. Instead of the proceeds going only to support the work of Dr. Berg, through the Christian Health Service Corps, they will now support the work of Christian surgeons throughout Africa through the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons, the organization through which Dr. Berg was acting as the surgical residency program director at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. PAACS is a strategic response to the need for surgeons in Africa, training African physicians to become surgeons who are willing to remain in Africa to meet this need. They currently manage 9 general surgery training programs, an orthopedic surgery training program, a pediatric surgery training program, a head & neck surgery fellowship program, and a newly added cardiothoracic surgery fellowship. You can make a difference in the life of a resident surgeon in Africa by contributing, and by doing so will be helping countless patients for whom that surgeon will provide care. To date 100% of surgeons who have graduated from a PAACS program have gone on to serve in the under-resourced areas of Africa to take care of the poor and those in need.

As for the change to the auction process, I have set a reserve for each auction such that the winning bid will have to at least equal the sum of the face value and minimum FedEX shipping costs. All proceeds will still go to PAACS but the reserve will assure that auction winners will at least be donating an amount equal to my costs (excluding the Iron Dukes donation). I would have simply set the starting bid at this reserve level except that several bids had already been placed prior to the posting of this announcement.

I hope that you will all continue to support the BlueHealers effort as you have done so generously in the past. It has been an honor and a privilege to be able to help transform our passion for Duke basketball into something that shows that we also care deeply for those in need.

- Mike Lee, BlueHealers founder

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