By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- Landscapes, self portraits and other types of artwork were a hot commodity at a recent art auction.
Bidding wars took place and by the end of the evening on March 9, many businesses and individuals walked away the new owners of one of the 86 new masterpieces.
This is the ninth year the annual Indiantown YMCA Children's Art Auction took place at the Louis Dreyfus Citrus Branch of the Indiantown YMCA, and the auction keeps getting better and better. More than 200 people turned out for the event, raising approximately $11,000 dollars that will be used for future YMCA programs in the area.
According to Shawn Keil, executive director of the Indiantown branch, it's the people that take part in the auction that makes it so much fun and special.
"The children do the artwork themselves," he said. "They spend about three months creating what goes up for auction."
This year the artwork had a pirate theme, and the competition for the artwork got competitive at times. The average price for a painting was approximately $100, though some sold for up to $200.
"Seacoast National Bank and Harbor Community Bank had a couple of bidding wars," Mr. Keil said. "It was a lot of fun."
During the art auction, the child that created the painting stood at the front of the room and told how the YMCA's programs have helped them.
"This is something the kids look forward to every year," he said. "It helps the children understand how much it takes to make this organization work, and gives them the opportunity to help with the fundraising process."
The $11,000 raised will go towards the annual goal, set at $30,000. The money is used for various programs such as camps, swimming lessons and preschool and afterschool care.
"The money is used for almost 500 families a year between all the programs," Mr. Keil said. "We also get help from our partners, like the Boys & Girls Club."
The YMCA is always looking for sponsors and volunteers. For more information, call (772) 597-3700.