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Auction raises $1,200 for homeless shelter

By JEFF STANTON - jstanton@newsexaminer.com

Saturday’s auction to benefit a homeless shelter came off as a big success. Organizers report more than $1,200 was raised toward the project.

Dave DeBoard, who has worked for more than a year searching for a suitable location for the shelter and trying to raise the necessary funds to obtain a property, was on hand to see a community come together for it.

Area atists donated some of their works for a silent auction to benefit the homeless shelter. Art work was donated from local artists and some of the art came as far away as Germany.

Fifty pieces were donated for the sale. Any art pieces that did not sell will be displayed and for sale at the homeless shelter when it opens. 

“I got involved because it was similar to my art abandonment journey,” artist Cindy Martin commented. “I like to do nice things for the community. I thought things went well and there was a lot of participation.”

Sunny Ammerman, who started The Heart Gallery project, was behind organizing the fundraiser and securing the donated art work to be auctioned. Ammerman, who is disabled and not able to be employed at this time, says she had a year to get this event together.

“I have time to volunteer and I’m happy to be here,” Ammerman said at the auction Saturday. “I actually got the idea of donating a painting to the Chamber of Commerce last year and I found out that painting sold for $100. I thought, if my little painting could sell for that much, I wonder how much all the local artists in town could gather up for a charity. When I saw Dave’s project in the paper, I thought, ‘that’s who we’re going to raise money for today.”

A possible location for the shelter is in the works at 217 W. Sixth St., DeBoard said. It’s the building that formerly housed the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The 9,020-square-foot space is unoccupied and can be leased for $4,800 a year. DeBoard hopes enough can be raised to purchase the building.

“It’s a blessing from the Lord, first of all, that we get to have a fundraiser for this event and it’s an even bigger blessing to have Sunny. She chose to do this for the homeless shelter. She didn’t have to do this; she could have chosen any of the charities in Connersville. She chose us and that means a lot to us. With this money that we raise, hopefully we’ll be able to secure a location to get everything started. It means a great deal to us.”

Bidder Becky Marvel, community wellness coordinator for the Fayette County Extension Service, along with daughter, Sarah, bid on several auction pieces and wanted to get behind a cause to benefit those who haven’t got a home.

“I can’t imagine being out in that cold; we need it, we need it here,” Marvel, said. “We’re just always looking at how we can work on our community and help those less fortunate.

“I wanted to support the community and I think this is a great way of someone volunteering their time to make our community better and I think if we all work together we can make Connersville a great place to live.”