Dennis Lehane fan bids $2,600 to name a character

Dorchester native and author Dennis Lehane auctioned off the chance to name a character in one of his upcoming books.
David L Ryan / Globe Staff/ 2012
Dorchester native and author Dennis Lehane auctioned off the chance to name a character in one of his upcoming books.

Ever dreamed of naming a character in a novel by a famous author? That dream became reality for a Dorchester woman Wednesday when she won a bidding war started to raise money for the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation.

Mary Crowe said she was browsing the Internet earlier this month, when she saw an advertisement from Dennis Lehane, a Dorchester native. Lehane was auctioning the chance to name a character in an upcoming book, either “World Gone By,” which is set in the 1940s, or, if the chosen name did not work in that novel, then Lehane’s next book set in the present day.

The proceeds from the bidding are designated for the Richard Foundation, a nonprofit developed to honor Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.


Crowe said she had been looking for a gift for her nephew, who is turning 31, and the naming rights seemed like a perfect idea. She chose to name the character Anthony Crowe, same as her nephew.

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“It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” Mary Crowe said in an interview by phone Wednesday. “It’s such a unique gift. And the fact that the money will go to a good cause is great.”

The naming rights cost Crowe $2,600. She said she was up against six other bidders, but decided before the auction ended, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, to increase her offer.

“It was really important to me,” she said. “I want to pass on the family name.”

Auctioners had priced the character name at $10,000, said a spokeswoman for the website that ran the bidding, Charitybuzz, a platform for online charity auctions.


Crowe’s family is from Dorchester, which was also the home to 8-year-old Martin Richard.

“From what I’ve heard about him, he seemed like an amazing little boy,” Crowe said. “And I’m sure the foundation will do great things in his honor. I’m happy to help.”

Crowe said she has not heard from Lehane and does not know if the character Anthony Crowe will be the book’s main character. She is a big fan of films based on Lehane’s work, she said, but has never read his novels, such as “Mystic River” and “Shutter Island.”

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera