Habitat for Humanity plans auction of art, upcycled items

Carol Rolf Published September 24, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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Matt Johnson

Brandon Hughes of Benton, manager of Habitat for Humanity of Saline County’s ReStore, is “repurposing” this headboard for Thursday’s Repurpose for a Purpose Auction. He said he is creating a large bench with the headboard, which was donated to the resale store in Benton.

— Habitat for Humanity of Saline County’s annual auction is undergoing a makeover this year.

Billed as Repurpose for a Purpose, this year’s fundraiser will still feature traditional artwork by local artists, but the event will also offer art of a different kind — upcycled items, which are produced by taking items, perhaps once used and maybe a little worn, and creating new items from them.

The Repurpose for a Purpose Auction will take place from 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday at the Benton Event Center, 17322 Interstate 30 in Benton. Tickets are $40 each or $375 for a table of 10 and may be purchased online at www.habitatsalinecounty.com or at the door.

The event will feature both silent and live auctions, as well as music and games. Tom Baxley will serve as master of ceremonies. Gina’s Catering of Bryant will provide hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar will be available.

“Although Habitat for Humanity of Saline County has had an annual art-related fundraising auction for several years now, this year we wanted to give it somewhat of a face-lift, which is why we wanted to also give it the new name Repurpose for a Purpose,” said Stephanie Griffin, executive director.

“Traditionally, this event has primarily included paintings and other art, which tend to be several hundred dollars for a piece. We wanted to add more variety, along with a broader range of prices as well, with some items that may go for as little as $20 or so. That way, everyone who attends can feel like they can help and that there will be some affordable pieces there that anyone could purchase,” Griffin said.

“We want local ‘artists,’ the folks who enjoy [do-it-yourself] projects, to be able to show off their work and donate it in order to help Habitat raise the money to build another home for a qualifying Saline County resident,” Griffin said. “We also want to be able to showcase our ReStore, located in Benton, to let people know they can find treasures there, and sometimes those items are perfect examples of things that can be repurposed.”

Megan Eoff, marketing and resource-development coordinator for Habit for Humanity of Saline County, said original artwork will also be up for bids.

“Brush Strokes Art Club of Hot Springs Village has donated some pieces of art for our auction,” Eoff said. “Plus, we have some things left over from last year that we hope to sell.”

Eoff said the annual auction “is one of Habitat for Humanity of Saline County’s most successful fundraisers.

“We raise an average of $15,000, which is used to help eliminate poverty housing in Saline County.”

Griffin said the ultimate goal of the fundraiser “is twofold: first and foremost, to raise money for our mission, and second, to let people know that our ReStore is a huge part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, because every time someone donates an item to the ReStore, once someone else purchases it, that money also gets funneled into our Habitat program as well.”

Brandon Hughes, manager of the ReStore, which is Habitat for Humanity of Saline County’s resale store, is repurposing several pieces for the auction. Each of the pieces has been donated to the store.

“I’m a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none,” he said, laughing, as he talked about one of the pieces he is refurbishing. He is taking a large headboard and turning it into a bench.

Hughes has also taken an old dining table and refurbished it. Jodi Mitchell of Sheridan is providing cushions for chairs that go with the dining table.

These repurposed items are now on view at the ReStore, 124 S. Market St. in Benton, and bids can be made on them before the auction. Eoff said the organization just recently completed its first build of the year.

“Since 1999, Habitat for Humanity of Saline County has broken ground on or recycled 79 homes in Saline County for well-deserving low-income families,” Eoff said.

“Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to be a part of because it truly is a hand up, not a hand out,” Griffin said.

“Residents have to apply for our program and qualify based on income guidelines, as well as having a need in regard to their current housing situation,” Griffin said. “Once approved for our program, these new ‘partner families’ have to put in ‘sweat-equity hours,’ and then they purchase their home at a zero percent interest mortgage from Habitat.”

For more information on the upcoming auction or on Habitat for Humanity of Saline County, call (501) 315-5434. Information is also available online at www.habitatsalinecounty.com or on Facebook at Habitat for Humanity of Saline County.