Works of Heart fundraiser showcases young artists
Topeka Capital Journal - 8/18/2019
Inside of Manor Conference Centre on Friday night, kids sat next to art pieces they created as attendees of the Works of Heart fundraiser walked through praising and expressing their thoughts on the displayed art.
The event, which served as a fundraiser for Family Service and Guidance Center, featured 18 kids from 4 to 17 years old.
During the event, the featured artists arrived in limousines before going inside, where a silent auction was taking place.
All money raised during the event goes to FSGC, which served about 12,000 kids in 2018.
Karlie Kintzel, 15, created a piece for the fundraiser titled “Protector.”
The piece depicts a young woman whose eyes are shielded by her pet fox’s tail.
“I have anxiety, I have pretty bad anxiety, and this girl in the picture has anxiety and she has her little fox, and her fox hides her from all the bad things, hides her eyes, and shows the world through his eyes for her so that’s shes not so scared of the world,” Kintzel said.
Kintzel said it took her a few hours over the span of a few days to complete the piece, which was created with watercolor.
Kintzel said her favorite element of the painting is the fox and his eyes, which show caring and concern.
“You are not alone when you’re going through things that are hard,” Kintzel said. “There’s so many people (and) things that can make you feel better.”
Jerzee Cole’s piece, “Hearts of Splatter,” was created using a household cleaning tool.
“They had buckets of paint, purple, pink and the teal color, and they had mops, and I dipped the mop in the color that I wanted and just painted the background,” said Jerzee, 9.
Jerzee said her favorite part of the evening was getting her hair and makeup done and riding in a limousine.
This was the 13th year of the fundraiser. Pam Evans, FSGC’s director of marketing and development, said when the event started in 2006, the organization wanted to ensure the focus remained on the child clients and “not to lose sight of the organization’s mission and helping kids and families who are struggling with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and ADHD.”
Evans said the organization hoped to raise $115,000 this year, which is $5,000 more than what was raised last year.
The fundraiser is a way for FSGC’s clients to be celebrated and recognized for their creativity, Evans said.
“For us, it is seeing the huge smiles on the kids and their families’ faces when they go up on stage and are recognized for their creativity, for their accomplishments,” Evans said. “There is nothing better than the big smiles up there as the live bids go higher and higher, because the event can really be life-changing for some of these kids.
Evans said she hopes people realize how treatable mental health issues can be.
“Anyone who has a mental health issue, they are no different than anyone else,” Evans said. “We should celebrate everyone, including folks with mental health issues.”
Brianna Childers, firstname.lastname@example.org