Charity Auction — Some of Spaf’s Bow Ties!

Total bids + 6 pledges (no tie):  $3051 — Auction closed!

Update August 15: 

Given demand for some new ties, and some last-minute surprise bids, I am going to add 4 additional ties to the collection, and extend the deadline for bids until 12PM EDT on August 18.

Additionally, make a serious offer in lieu of a tie with a pledge at least a $75 donation to one of the charities I’ve listed at the end, and I will give it some serious thought.  I’ll consider lots of things to support some additional charitable donations. If you pledge to meet any of the “extra goodies” conditions given below, I will send the listed item for your pledge.



I have been wearing bow ties since I was about 7, and exclusively over the last 20 years (well, exclusively as ties — I do wear other clothes!). To some extent, my bow ties have become a “signature” item for me.  (See also the first 80 seconds of this video.)

I recently won a bow tie from the good folks at Beau Ties, Ltd. during one of their promotions (at right). (Aside: I’ve gotten the majority of my ties from them over the years — great quality, great customer service, and excellent variety). That most recent tie pushed my collection beyond the capacity of my tie racks. My daughter insisted that rather than get a new tie rack, I should downsize my collection some. After all, I have in the neighborhood of 150 ties right now!

So, after much agonizing and discussion, she and I came up with six ties that I haven’t worn in some time and won’t be completely desolated at doing without. Five of the ties are nice, normal ties, and one is a special Y2K tie that I actually wore on Dec 31, 1999.

Thereafter comes the question, what to do with the ties? Giving them to the homeless seems questionable, and throwing them away is definitely not something to do with them!

The Auction

So, let’s get some good out of these ties! I will auction these off for charity according to the following:

  1. The auction is open, effective immediately, until 5pm EDT August 15.
  2. Bids can be made on individual ties, only.
  3. Bidding will be by email to <>
  4. A bid consists of a tie selection (by name/number) and an offer to donate to a recognized charitable organization, according to the guidelines, below.
  5. Bids will be updated on this page as the auction proceeds

Winners will send me a check made out to their chosen charity. I will send the check on to the charity, and send the bow tie back to the winning bidder (that’s how I can verify the donation). This will occur within a week of the close of the auction. If I fail to get the donation, the tie will go to the next highest bidder.

I will pay the postage.  I had the ties dry-cleaned, too.

Your bid/donation will be made in your name so you get full credit. (Keep in mind some employers make charitable matches, too, although I will not count that in the auction.)


Let me note that although these are men’s ties, women can wear them too for a very snazzy look, or get them as a gift for some man in their life that they want to look more like Spaf (beard, glasses, and waistline sold separately).

Extra goodies

  • A winning bid of at least $100 for a donation to Purdue University’s CERIAS will get a CERIAS challenge coin in addition to the tie →
  • A winning bid of at least $250 for a donation to Purdue University’s CERIAS will get a special item of CERIAS-branded swag as well as the coin (we have a few shirts, jackets, etc. We’ll negotiate. 🙂
  • A winning bid of at least $500 for any tie will result in me taking you out to dinner sometime when we are in physical proximity … and not simply McDonalds. Dinner will include a lesson in how to tie a bow tie the Spaf way. (If to CERIAS, you also get the coin and swag item.)
  • A winning bid in excess of $1000 will get something special that I’ll have to think up.

All ties will come with a signed certificate of authenticity, made on my home printer, attesting to the fact that I actually wore the tie more than once. Of course, if you’d rather not get that, let me know and I’ll save the paper.

How can you lose?

You get a bit of history, a nifty bow tie, and possibly some CERIAS swag. You obviously get the good feeling of contributing to a charitable cause. And, depending on your choice and local regulations, you may also qualify to get a tax deduction for supporting a charity. So, place a bid!

And please — share the link to this page with your social networks.

The Ties

Click on the pictures to see a large image.

Tie #1 — Paisley with Maroon Tie

This tie is all silk, imported, and originally sold by Lands End. It is a classic paisley print, with maroon accents. It goes well with green, cream, white, maroon and blue.
Current bid: $175 by JL


Tie #2 — Paisley with Green Tie

This tie is all silk, imported, and originally sold by Lands End. It is a classic paisley print, with green accents. It goes well with green, cream, white, and blue.
Current bid: $150 by BD


Tie #3 — The “Amoeba” Tie

This is an all silk, made in the USA tie originally sold by Polo by Ralph Lauren. It is a yellow background, with a cloud of red and black “amoebas” swimming across the tie (really, paisley). This looks great with a dark shirt or a white shirt.
Current bid: $200 by DEB


Tie #4 — The “Color Bomb” Tie (also named “Hawaiian Lava”)

This is an all silk tie originally by Beau Ties, Ltd. I believe it has been discontinued, and I don’t know the original name for the design. It is a collection of long streaks of bright red, yellow, blue and purple (purple seems dominant), with accents in gray. green, and black. This is a colorful tie that always draws comments, and really goes with almost any colored shirt.
Current bid: $350 by DWB


Tie #5 — The “Polka Square” Tie

All silk, vendor unknown. Possibly one of the first ties I got from Beau Ties. This tie is a delicate shade of pink, spotted with little turquoise squares with black borders. This looks great with a white shirt, or with a light blue shirt. It may look good with others, but that’s all I’ve ever matched it with!
Current bid: $150 by HK


Tie #6 — Special — The Y2K Tie

This is an all silk tie originally by Beau Ties, Ltd. as a special issue. It is a deep red color, with a swarm of “Y2K” on it in a variety of sizes and fonts. This would be a great tie to wear before the next predicted catastrophe, whatever it might be!
Current bid: $501 by KL


Tie #7 — Red Holiday Tie
This is an all silk tie from Lands End. The color scheme is good for the year-end holidays, or any time you want to celebrate. I used to wear this a lot, and there is a little wear along one edge, but all the more reason to celebrate!
Current bid: $150 by BD


Tie #8 — Green Holiday Tie
This is another all silk holiday tie from Lands End, in the same pattern as #7, but in green. Get both ties and have a real celebration!
Current bid: $150 by AL


Tie #9 — Summer Khaki Tie
This is an all cotton tie, vendor unknown, in a pleasing tan and white combination. There are a few wrinkles evident, but they will be gone after I get it dry cleaned. It goes well when worn with khaki pants, or white pants. It may even go well without pants, but I’m not recommending that for public appearances!
Current bid: $125 by LM


Tie #10 — Surprise Extra Paisley Tie
This is all silk, vendor unknown, and I didn’t realize I still had it. It is the last remaining paisley tie in my collection, available here for your bid!
Current bid: $150 by LT




You can designate (almost) any charity or charitable organization you might like to support as part of your bid. I particularly encourage donations that benefit education, the hungry, or disadvantaged women and children.

If I have any doubts about the nature of the charity, I may decline the bid. Organizations in any way associated with partisan political positions or religious organizations are not eligible. Note that I no longer donate to the Susan Koman Foundation because of some of their policies — I suggest you give to the American Cancer Society instead, or some similar organization, if that is your general preference.

Here is a list of some suggested targets for your donation bid. You might also consider some of these for donations at other times, and for other reasons, too!

2 Responses to “Charity Auction — Some of Spaf’s Bow Ties!”

  1. Dale Gaumer Says:

    Can the ties be worn only by persons with a Spaf-spec neck size?
    Will you personally teach winners how to actually tie their new tie? Shoes I tie ok. Windsor knots are sometimes presentable. Pretied bow ties with clips or straps, ok. But just a strip of cloth with uneven width requires help.


    • spaf Says:

      Dale — these ties are adjustable up to about an 18.5″ neck.

      If you can tie shoes, you can tie a bow tie, with practice. I will provide pointers to great tutorial information, videos, and I will provide some minimal phone support. 🙂 People who get the ties in person (because they are near Purdue or wherever I am traveling at the time) will get a personal coaching session, if needed.


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