Blago storage auction to benefit children's hospital

August 18, 2010 (ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.)

The company says Friends of Rod Blagojevich is so far behind on paying rent at the storage facility that it's auctioning off items that include a life-size statue of Elvis.

The storage company says they haven't received a payment for more than five years. Normally, they say, they would have auctioned off the items long ago, but knowing who the items belonged to, they were hoping to work something out.

But, as it turns out, it may work out best for a local hospital.

On Thursday, a hospital fundraiser will take over the parking lot of Boyer-Rosene, 2638 S. Clearbrook Drive in Arlington Heights, all thanks to the Friends of Rod Blagojevich.

The storage company's executives allowed ABC7 to see the contents of seven vaults owned by the Friends of Rod Blagojevich that will be auctioned off Thursday.

"I think the first merchandise came in in 2002 and been ether ever since, and over the years more has been added to the original merchandise," said Joe Saverino, Boyer-Rosene.

ABC 7 was shown pictures, boxes -- including one marked "Lon," perhaps for things related to former Blagojevich friend Lon Monk, who became one of the government's lead witnesses against the former governor.

Items look to be from previous campaigns, the time Blagojevich was a congressman and governor, Elvis memorabilia and lots of boxes of tapes.

The storage facility's attorney would not allow the public access to the vaults until the auction date.

Usually, items left behind in storage would be auctioned off to recoup unpaid storage fees. But the owner will donate all of the auction proceeds to Children's Memorial Hospital.

With all of the attention to the former governor, the facility's owner hopes to make a big donation to the hospital.

"He's high profile. He's been in the news with the trial and all. People are curious. Collectors who want a piece of history may want to buy something," said Saverino.

There is some irony in this as the hospital's president testified against Blagojevich, testifying that in order to get state money for the hospital the president would have to donate to Blagojevich's campaign.

The hospital issued a statement saying it is appreciative of the donation and appreciates the support.

The facility's owner has had children cared for at the hospital and wanted to give what he could to the hospital that helped his family through difficult times.

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