Magowitz Golf Classic Raises Record Sum, Includes Auction of Rare Mattress Ad Archive

The 14th annual Seena Magowitz Golf Classic held in Boston Aug. 27-29 raised more than $688,000 to support pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix.

vintage mattress ad archive copy

Historical perspective Mattress Firm made the winning bid on a treasure trove of vintage bedding ads donated by PureCare’s Arnold Hershbain. They were collected over decades by his former business partner Sam Chase, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2006.

The event has become a tradition for members of the mattress and home furnishings industry.

In addition to golf, participants attended a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park, as well as a gala dinner at a Boston Harbor venue. During the dinner, there was an auction of donated big-ticket items that included a one-of-a-kind collection of vintage print ads for mattresses.

Previously held in Phoenix and Orlando, Florida, the tourney has raised a total of $7 million to date in support of pancreatic cancer research. This was the first year the event was held in Boston.

“Hosting the golf classic in Boston (has opened up) new opportunities to raise awareness surrounding pancreatic cancer throughout New England and the upper Atlantic seaboard,” said bedding industry veteran Roger Magowitz, founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, which is named for his mother who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2001.

David Dombrowski, president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox, and a member of TGen’s Pancreatic Cancer National Advisory Council, was the event’s honorary chair.

One hundred golfers played in the tournament. Tietex’s Jimmy Fleming and his team took home the golf trophy, as well as the award for the much-anticipated, annual “Ugly Pants” contest.

Winning golfers in very ugly pants Seena Magowitz Golf Classic

Fully outfitted The winners of the Seena Magowitz Golf Classic also took home the annual “Ugly Pants” award. The “colorful” winning team included (from left) Tietex’s Jimmy Fleming, Doug Guffey of Corsicana, Leggett & Platt’s Mark Kinsley and Adam Lava of A. Lava & Son.

This year’s auction was particularly fascinating for members of the sleep products industry with the inclusion of an immense trove of vintage bedding advertisements. They were collected over decades by Fabrictech (now PureCare) cofounder Samuel Chase, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2006. The archive was donated by Chase’s business partner, Arnold Hershbain.

Vintage mattress ad from Ladies Home Journal

Just a sample One of the 325 vintage mattress ads from Sam Chase’s collection, which dates as far back as the late 19th century.

The collection was valued at just under $10,000 and included 325 magazine ads, many of them more than 100 years old. The ads were produced by past and present brands, such as Englander, Ostermoor, Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Stearns & Foster and others. All of the ads can be viewed at the Seena Magowitz Foundation website.

At the Sunday night auction, retailer Mattress Firm paid $55,000 for the entire lot and will frame and display the advertisements at its offices.

Roger Magowitz said he is thankful for the retailer’s generous donation and happy that the archive will be conserved and kept together: “It allows Sam’s legacy to live on. Arnold held (the collection) for 10 years, then donated it to us saying, ‘Let’s hope for the best.’ He and I wanted it to stay together as a collection—and it did—thanks to Steve Stagner and Ken Murphy, who were at the event and made the purchase on behalf of Mattress Firm.”

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