About 190 people attended Friday’s limited capacity Works of Heart Event at Maner Conference Centre instead of the usual 400-plus, but that didn’t keep them from raising a record $133,000 to help Family Service & Guidance Center kids.
“Many of our guests told us in the weeks leading up to Works of Heart that they were eager to attend a live event,” said Pam Evans, FSGC Director of Marketing & Development. “They were also happy to wear masks and social distance, especially when it came to meeting our Featured Artists. Everyone there was ready to have fun, and they wanted to support our kids. Their generosity came at a level I never would have imagined!”
Nine of 10 Featured Artist pieces created by FSGC client children and teens sold for more than $1,000, including a record $1,900 for "Breezy Day," painted by 15-year-old Amare (pictured above).
In addition, dozens of guests who registered to watch a free livestream of the event were very active bidding on a wide range of valuable silent auction items, including professional artwork, unique experiences, trips, handcrafted jewelry, ceramics and gift cards.
The rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus meant extra planning for the in-person event, including requiring masks, social distancing, limited capacity and hand sanitizer at each guest’s seat. With fewer guests in attendance, tables were more spread out. It was all done in the name of safety but clearly it didn’t detract from the fun of the evening and honoring the Featured Artists for their creations.
“The Works of Heart Featured Artists were treated like royalty, and our guests had a great time, whether they were at the in-person event or watching online,” Evans said. “Wherever they were, everyone got to see the faces of the kids onstage as their pieces were auctioned off for upward of $1,000. That was priceless.”
Evans said that Friday’s fundraiser tells her two things. First, it shows that FSGC clients are thoughtful, creative children and teens who want to share their amazing artistic talent to help other kids like them.
“It also tells me that no other organization in northeast Kansas has friends and supporters like Family Service & Guidance Center does. Even after all these months of pandemic and isolation, they’ll step up to make sure our kids and families get the help they need to live better lives. That means so much.”
Family Service & Guidance Center is a nonprofit community mental health center that serves approximately 12,000 northeast Kansas children, adolescents and families each year with a full range of mental health care services to treat anxiety, depression, ADHD and other common mental health challenges.