Unique items up for auction to support Springfield Arts Council

Event chairs Bridget Houston and Greg Rogers display raffle tickets and one of the art pieces that will be for auction for the Springfield Arts Council's 44th annual Salute to the Arts Benefit Auction. The auction, which will be done virtually, will feature up to 40 items including vacations, getaways, art and more beginning April 10 through May 1. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council's programs including the Summer Arts Festival. Contributed photo
Event chairs Bridget Houston and Greg Rogers display raffle tickets and one of the art pieces that will be for auction for the Springfield Arts Council's 44th annual Salute to the Arts Benefit Auction. The auction, which will be done virtually, will feature up to 40 items including vacations, getaways, art and more beginning April 10 through May 1. Proceeds benefit the Arts Council's programs including the Summer Arts Festival. Contributed photo

After the past year, most of us likely could use a one-of-a-kind vacation, a unique getaway, a new piece of art to spruce up the home or office or just an unforgettable meal. Chances for all of those things and more will be up for grabs in one place beginning this week.

The Springfield Arts Council’s 44th annual Salute to the Arts Benefit Auction is going virtual with a chance to bid on 35-40 items while helping bring entertainment and arts education to the community. Bidding opens Saturday and continue through May 1.

When people visit Veterans Park to enjoy the Summer Arts Festival or the efforts by the Youth Arts Ambassadors, these are supported by Salute to the Arts, the Arts Council’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Although normally a gala event with dinner and live entertainment, organizers felt going online was the best choice in 2021.

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“As a nonprofit, this is our number one fundraiser,” said Greg Rogers, president of the Arts Council’s executive committee. “We were fortunate to get this in last year. This year, we have more premier items we think people will like.”

Golf trips, vacations out of the area and close to home, wine, gift baskets and unique art works will be among the items. Rogers said there is an emphasis on local items, showing support for the community.

Detailed item descriptions and photos of auction items are available online at the Arts Council’s home page and Facebook sites. Auction registration is free at www.charityauction.bid/Salute2021.

There will also be a cash raffle for $1,000, sponsored by Merchants National Bank. Raffle tickets cost $20 apiece or three for $50 and are available online or from Arts Council board members.

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Given the restrictions from the pandemic have limited what the Arts Council can present, it has still contributed online shows from the Ambassadors and sponsored a new live concert series, Downtown Sounds, this year. Leadership is still working on options to present the Summer Arts Festival.

“Our fingers are crossed,” said Rogers. “The Summer Arts Festival is the area’s number one entertainment attraction, the Ambassadors have done amazing work and Downtown Sounds has been successful. We hope the community will support us.”

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