Archive for Sunday, June 17, 2012

What Floats Your Boat believed to have raised record amount for Van Go program

June 17, 2012


Lawrence artist Stan Herd paints during Van Go's What Floats Your Boat fundraiser. Herd then donated the painting to be auctioned off at the fundraiser, which raised an estimated $100,000 for the program.

Lawrence artist Stan Herd paints during Van Go's What Floats Your Boat fundraiser. Herd then donated the painting to be auctioned off at the fundraiser, which raised an estimated $100,000 for the program.

Hailey Freese owes much to Van Go, a local arts-based, job-training program that helps at-risk youths.

Freese, who is 18 years old, said the program taught her responsibility, determination and teamwork. She gained confidence, work experience and a family of friends.

“It has changed my life,” she said.

It was for the Van Go program that about 550 people gathered Saturday night at Clinton Lake Marina. Eliza Nichols, event organizer, guessed that the event had raised a record $100,000 in funds.

At the event, called What Floats Your Boat, organizers auctioned off 22 different items, ranging from paintings to parasols, bird baths to benches.

“I really, really like this event because it’s about the community more than it’s about Van Go,” Freese said. “It’s about getting people together and supporting a good cause.”

Program participants built and painted the majority of the items, with some selling for as much as $4,100. Freese said that seeing how much people are willing to pay for art provides a boost of confidence.

“It’s really cool to see your artwork being sold for that much money,” she said.

While program members made many of the items, others were donated, such as a piece painted during the event by local artist Stan Herd.

Herd said that he was glad to help a program that gets youths in touch with their artistic sides.

“I am amazed at all the things Van Go does,” he said.

Community donations did not stop at auction items. Local Burger donated vegetarian food for the meal, and stores like Kohl’s and Best Buy provided employees as some of the 50 volunteers who worked the evening.

All of the money raised goes back into the program, located at 715 N.J. Van Go currently serves 22 people ages 14-21. All participants either live below poverty, have mental diagnoses or are special-needs students. Much of the program focuses on woodworking, painting and mosaic creation. Van Go, which is in its 15th year, provides a social worker as well as a creative director to help participants and direct them in the creation of their art.

Freese said the program teaches teamwork and how to give constructive criticism. Participants often work in teams, and those who stand out become team leaders. Freese, who has participated in the program for two years, is one of these leaders, something she says she will put on her resume when heading off to Johnson County Community College next year.


uglyrumor 1 year, 10 months ago

Does anyone know how much the Stan Herd went for?


overthemoon 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh.... You mean the arts and art education might provide those skill said to be lacking in the work place?? Wow. Like exposing kids to art may make them more engaged and focused adults? Really? So can we suppose that perhaps the support of the arts by taxpayers actually benefits society as a whole?? Who would have thought that?? So maybe the Arts help people to become better people, able employees, better parents. Imagine that.


woodscolt 1 year, 10 months ago

Where do these record profits go? How much are these young people paid for their pieces? I attended the event and would have to be concerned that they may be getting a false impression of what the art work is really worth. Its sorta of an artificial world at Van Go. My concern is that when their eligibility in this art program expires, where does that leave them when they are out on their own. They keep making the stuff they were directed too by Van Go and all of the sudden it doesn't sell for a fraction of what it did at an event like this. What sort of a backlash might this cause these kids? Hopefully they are learning that the real benefit of their experience with Van Go is just that, the experience, and not necessarily the art work. What is the percentage of these people who actually go on to make a living creating more of what they did at Van Go? What percentage of these kids just get set up for a huge fall when they try to continue their art work on their own? Just a few questions I pondered while at the event.


HickmanAida 1 year, 10 months ago

what Wanda said I didnt even know that you can get paid $9701 in 1 month on the internet. have you read this web link(Click on menu Home more information)


bluedawg79 1 year, 10 months ago

Small correction. It was Kohl's and Best Buy employees who were among volunteers at last night's event. They did an amazing job and we couldn't have had such a successful evening with out them. Thank you to ALL the volunteers!


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