Sheryl Crow Mercedes Auction Buyers Match Car Price with Donation to Joplin Schools

The purchasers of the vintage Mercedes auctioned by Sheryl Crow have made a matching donation of $130,000 to the Joplin Schools Recovery Fund to help the district rebuild after the massive damage of the May 22 tornado.

The couple who bought Crow’s 1959 white Mercedes 190SL convertible for $130,000 in August wish to remain anonymous. Matching their winning bid for the car, the couple made the additional donation in Sheryl Crow’s name to benefit Joplin Schools, which the singer had selected to receive the proceeds from the auction of the car on Aug. 22.

The auction price of $130,000 exceeded the car’s estimated value of $50,000 to $80,000. Crow included a signature Sheryl Crow Gibson guitar, a pair of concert tickets and a photo opportunity with the winning bidder as part of the package. The annual Gooding & Co. auction took place on Aug. 22 in conjunction with the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

“I am so touched by the donor making this very generous contribution on my behalf to Joplin schools,” Crow said. “It was such a pleasure to meet them and see their enthusiasm for this car, which was very special to me, and now learn of their support for Joplin’s situation. They have done a wonderful thing in doubling the proceeds from the event.”

In addition to the anonymous couple’s donation, the owners of Gooding & Company have made their own private donation to the Joplin Schools Recovery Fund in hopes of making a difference.

“This donation originally estimated at $50,000 to $80,000 has now raised more than $260,000 for Joplin schools,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “That’s a remarkable return and we are very grateful for the additional contributions from the buyers and Gooding & Co. to boost the total. The schools will have many needs as they continue their rebuilding process and this will be a great help in the long run.”

As a result of the May 22 EF5 tornado, three Joplin schools are considered destroyed and seven more sustained various degrees of damage with overall losses exceeding $150 million. All classes opened on schedule on Aug. 17 using several temporary facilities. The school district will determine how and when it needs to use charitable proceeds from the Joplin Schools Recovery Fund.

“This generous donation will be put to good use,” Joplin Superintendent C.J. Huff said. “As we work towards rebuilding, our needs continue to become greater as we have a better understanding of how our schools will be impacted long term by the storm. Donations such as this demonstrate the long-term commitment to individuals and organizations from across the country to get us back on our feet.”

A former teacher, Crow selected the Joplin Schools Recovery Fund for her donation because of her commitment to public education and her belief in the importance of school rebuilding for the overall community’s recovery.

The Joplin Schools Recovery Fund is one of 22 funds established at the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, Inc., and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to assist with various aspects of tornado relief and recovery. To date, those funds have raised about $3.5 million for recovery efforts ranging from corporations assisting their affected employees to grants for non-profit agencies that experienced damage or increased caseloads as a result of the tornado.