NKY thrift store receives 1935 Academy Award statue from mystery donor

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – A valuable relic of Hollywood’s past made its way to a thrift store in Northern Kentucky.

Now the mystery is, who donated it?

Be Concerned is a food pantry on Pike Street in Covington. Founded it 1968, it also houses a thrift store that accepts donated items to helps support the nonprofit’s pantry programs.

About two months ago, someone came into the thrift store and donated a bin full of random items, according to Executive Director Andy Brunsman.

The bin was set aside because some of the items seemed unusual and not fit for a quick turnaround.

Most unusual of all was a weighty statue that looked very familiar.

Turns out it was a 1935 Academy Award statute that went to “It Happened One Night” starring Clark Gable and Frank Capra.

The movie took home all five major awards including Best Picture, the first time that had ever happened.

“It swept,” said Brunsman, “so what ended up happening was, they made those little statuettes to go to the actors, the actresses and the people that were involved in the studio.”

The Motion Picture Museum of America confirmed the award is real and could be worth more than $10,000.

“For us, we were able to strike a deal with the museum for $1,000 so we can buy food for people during the holidays,” Brunsman said. “We would gladly give that to them so they can have that at the museum, and they have agreed to that deal.”

The money will mean a lot for hungry Northern Kentucky families.

“You look at what our market rate on eggs is now, and we’re getting those for about $3 a dozen, so basically this is going to provide eggs for 330 families, which for us, is one week right now,” Brunsman said.

The original donor of the item remains unknown.

“We don’t know how it came in. We know it came in like all of our other donations. Somebody went out of their way and made the time to box it up, to come down and ring our door bell and to give it to our volunteers to sort,” Brunsman said. “Aside from that, we have no idea who in the Tri-State was involved in that movie.”

If you know the donor or have any information about the original owner, you can email or call 859.291.6789.

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