Big hearts equal big success

Published 12:45 am Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Winding up its fourth year, Have a HeArt for Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to shine. The works of more than 50 artists graced the Upstairs gallery in a concerted community effort to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters. And what a success!


The Upstairs Artspace was the gracious host for this silent auction project during their initial 2015 shows. Following an impressive opening night turnout, a steady stream of guests visited the Upstairs throughout the run of the HeArts show to view the art exhibits and place bids on their favorite hearts.

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The artists outdo themselves year after year, with fabulous creations to tempt viewers to bid up. Winners went home with wonderful HeArts to treasure or for Valentine’s gifts to delight the lucky recipients.


Not only perfect as Valentine’s or wedding presents, the HeArts touch others’ lives in many ways. One piece was sent to Texas for a birthday and the gift arrived just in time to lift a daughter’s spirits. A HeArt with a beach landscape landed across the miles with a sister in Florida. Others went to a Hospice bedside as tokens of love. HeArts were won by many lucky local residents and some by folks as far away as Michigan, Ohio, and Massachusetts.


Underlying the spirit of the project is the understanding that it’s for the kids. The children served through the BBBS mentoring programs are truly the ones who benefit from the generosity of all involved — the artists, bidders, volunteers and the Upstairs Artspace, its members and staff.


Fortunately for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Have a HeArt fundraiser continues to generate an enthusiastic response from artists and supporters alike. Just ask artist Bob Neely, who was so inspired that he wound up creating nine HeArts for the 2015 event! Bob is now working on his entries for next year, and other artists are already planning their HeArts for the 2016 event.


For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters or the HeArts project, please email or call 828-859-9230.


– Submitted by Karen Dacey