The third annual Hearts for Haiti art auction is not only a fund raising benefit, but it’s also about connections and bringing local students and children together through the creation of art with orphans in Caracol, Haiti.
“The idea for Hearts for Haiti is just about connecting children in Sedalia with orphans in Haiti, it’s about deepening and growing that connection,” said Lorie Holt, Strong Tower Orphanage president. “You know what I got to do all last week, was to go into our schools and invite our young artists to come (to the auction). We want them to come, then we’ll have a time for them to come up on the stage to recognize them.”
She added that she really wanted the local children to “hear two things” from her.
“I want to really say thank you, thank you … you are touching the lives of orphans in Haiti … you are making a difference in their lives.”
Since January, Holt, along with Krista Kempton, Melinda Moore, and Diane Burnett, have gone to area schools and helped children create art pieces for the auction. On Friday night there will be approximately 200 pieces at the auction, representing not only many different schools but also many different mediums.
“Most of the artwork began after the first of the year and then we had some challenges with the snow days and getting it done,” she said. “But most all of it has come in and we are so thrilled.”
Parkview Elementary School fourth graders made colorful ceramic turtles that can be left indoors or placed outside in the garden.
“They sold like hotcakes last year,” she said.
“We have pottery from the high school, we have paintings from the junior high, we have sculpture from Whittier and from the middle school,” she added.
One modern-style sculpture was created by Whittier students by taking clear packing tape, making a hard cast of their hands and then grouping them altogether.
“They named it ‘The Hands of Hope,’” Holt said. “They teamed up with a partner and they made their hand a certain shape and their partner wrapped packing tape around it. And it really came off like a cast. It’s just amazing to watch them do it.”
Two long tables are full of various sizes of framed art created by the children in Haiti, called “Love Notes from Haiti.”
“These are pictures that kids in Haiti have drawn of themselves,” Holt said. “They draw them after Vacation Bible School when we are there, and we bring them home. And some of our teams frame them and add a verse to them. You can just put that on your desk and pray for that child. These are just a wonderful addition to the Hearts for Haiti.”
At the last two auctions, Hearts for Haiti brought in $9,000 each year. Holt said their projection this year is for $12,000.
They will also have live artist Kim Boggs, of Sedalia, at the event. Boggs will paint two pieces Friday night and they will be auctioned off during the event.
“She did this last year, and it was beautiful,” Holt said. “In 15 minutes she took a blank canvas, and she had a painting, and it was gorgeous, it was beautiful. It was fun watching the canvases come to life.”
Holt said besides the artwork, they have a special treat for those attending. They will be serving a coffee from Haiti that is produced through the Singing Rooster coffee company in Madison, Wis. The coffee is grown in Haiti and Singing Rooster donates the production of it. Bags of coffee selling for $10 will also be available during the event.
“Strong Tower is premiering our Haitian coffee sales this weekend,” she added. “We’ll be serving the coffee with our refreshments. All the proceeds go back to Haiti, either to the Haitian coffee farmers … or to Strong Tower.”
Strong Tower Orphanage opened in June of 2013 and can house 10 girls on each side. It now houses nine girls in a family-like setting, Holt said.
“We’re working towards opening the other side,” Holt added.
The third annual Hearts for Haiti auction runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at The Celebration Center, 1701 W. 32nd St. There is no cost to attend.