Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

By Ed Moreth 

Arts Council raises $2,700


December 7, 2017

Ed Moreth

PENCIL ART – Don Stamm (left) and Les Carpenter look over pencil prints of the late Duke Nielsen at the Do Your Bidding Over a Baked Potato Dinner fundraiser at the Paradise Center. Nielsen's art was among 54 different pieces of artwork donated by Sanders County artists for the event Saturday evening.

The Sanders County Arts Council is one step closer to its goal of having a fully operational art center at the Paradise Center thanks to the generosity at the "Do Your Bidding Over a Baked Potato Dinner" fundraiser Saturday evening.

"I think it went really well," said Noxon resident Cinda Gazaway, the chief coordinator and one of the artists who donated artwork to the fundraiser, which included a live auction of 32 donations from local businesses and individuals, and 54 pieces of art for the silent auction. The event included a baked potato meal with seven different topping variations, drinks and desserts. Karen Thorson, president of the Sanders County Arts Council, said they plan to have other "Do Your Bidding" dinner fundraisers in the future.

The nonprofit organization raised just over $2,700 at the hour and a half event. The silent auction fetched more than $1,000 with a framed oil painting by Gazaway as the highest priced item going for $90. The live auction, conducted by Chris Borntreger, raked in $1,261 with a cheesecake going for a record $300. Paradise resident Doug Bratz donated the cheesecake back and it was cut into 10 pieces, which were then auctioned off, raising another $155. The live auction had dozens of items, mostly gift certificates, food and household items and services, all donated by local businesses and individuals.

The silent auction comprised of 54 art pieces – drawings, photographs, paintings, woodworks, ceramics, and a custom embossed chair by Ellen Childress, the largest three-dimensional piece. The biggest art piece was a 24X30 print by Rick Harter, who also donated a 4 ½-foot long piece of wood with a duck scene on it. The smallest piece was a ceramic polar bear by Barbara Mullins of Noxon.

"We were very pleased with the number of people who attended, with the generosity of artists who donated their work and with local businesses who contributed. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves," said Thorson, who donated glass artwork for the silent auction. Pianist Rudi Boukal of Thompson Falls provided live music during the event. Earlier this year, Boukal, a board member of the Sanders County Arts Council, built wooden easels for the Paradise Center.

Thorson said the event raised enough money for the arts council to purchase a ceramic kiln that will be used at the Paradise Center, formerly Paradise Elementary School, which is operated by the Paradise Elementary School Preservation Committee, a separate nonprofit entity that works with the arts council to help promote the arts. Although the arts council has access to the center, it doesn't have all the needed equipment for artists to use, according to Thorson. She said they're also looking into purchasing equipment for other art forms.

"The amount raised will enable us to purchase a nice ceramic kiln. We are thrilled about that because it will enable us to offer clay sculpture and ceramics classes for youth and adults," said Thorson.

The Paradise Elementary School Preservation Committee will be sponsoring a First Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Paradise Center on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. to thank the community for their support. It will be free admission and include drinks and goodies, Christmas carols and treats for kids.


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