TV bachelor sold at auction
Former South Medford high student bids $850 for a weekend with Ryan Scheaffer at a benefit auction
By DAMIAN MANN
Evelyn Wooton couldn’t stand to see her famous reality TV bachelor walk away with another woman.
At an auction Sunday night at the Rogue Valley Country Club to benefit 33 high school students going to Italy, 23-year-old Wooton outbid her rival for the pleasure of not one, but two dates with Ryan Scheaffer.
"I’ll take two," said Wooton, clinching her $850 bid.
Scheaffer was one of three finalists in ABC’s "The Bachelorette," television show but bachelorette Jennifer Schefft gave him a big thumbs down on the Valentine’s Day episode.
"He’s a doll," said Wooton afterward. The feeling was shared by 28-year-old Scheaffer. "She’s beautiful," he said.
The two former South Medford High students — she lives in Reno working as a producer on an ABC affiliate and he works at a middle school in Los Angeles — decided he would come up for a weekend date.
After the bidding was over, there was some confusion about whether Wooton paid for one or two dates. She ended up getting a deal, paying $850 for a full weekend with Scheaffer.
The money was raised to help send students from north and south Medford high as well as St. Mary’s high to Alba, Italy, Medford’s sister city.
Liz Smith, chairwoman of The Medford-Alba Sister City Association, said the goal is to raise more than $60,000 to send the students abroad. The auction shows the students the effort needed to raise the money.
"It helps them to bond together as a group," she said.
The auction raised from $11,000 to $12,000, hawking everything from a weekend at the coast to a five-course dinner. But Smith said it would be a few days before she would know how much was collected from the silent auction.
"It was so neat to see the response from the community," she said, referring to a 235-member audience made up of civic leaders, educators, parents and others.
Scheaffer, who appeared to take his sudden celebrity status in stride, said, "I feel good that I can help out with some of these causes."
While enjoying his moment in the limelight, he doesn’t expect it to last long.
"All of a sudden you’re just in the reality TV kind of club," he said. "It is fun to try to take it for what it is, but the reality is that this is not going to last forever."
Scheaffer doesn’t hold out much hope that his TV appearance will lead to any roles on TV or the movies because of the glut of reality shows now available.
"I think the reality TV genre has become so diluted," he said. "In some way it’s kind of run it’s course. It doesn’t have the same cache anymore."
Still, Scheaffer basked in the celebrity spotlight at the auction.
When it came time to auction off Scheaffer, auctioneer Ron Burgess of Burgess Travel said, "Come on up here you stud muffin."
Two South Medford High students, Jenna Johnson, a senior, and Dana Kleinhesselink, 16, tried to encourage the audience to bid more for Scheaffer, who also went to Alba as a junior in 1993.
"For $500, he’s worth it," said Kleinhesselink.
When the bidding went higher, Johnson said, "You know you want this."
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org