Over 250 people filled the Haywood Park Ballroom for OpenDoors 2nd Annual Benefit Art Auction on February 12th. The lively crowd fell silent when OpenDoors student Antonio stood at the podium and described his goals–to play basketball and to attend a private school–and his desire to be a good example to his brothers and sister and to chart a new path for his family. This kind of transformation is what OpenDoors is all about!
The silent and live auctions raised over $50,000 this year, almost double what we raised at the same event last year. It’s an impressive amount when you think about the hours of tutoring, activities, and the opportunities it represents for the kids we serve. Jen and I want to thank our Asheville artists’ community for being so supportive of OpenDoors. We kept our costs down by having so many hardworking volunteers, friends, family, and neighbors who not only worked to make this event a success, but who have worked all year to help us build relationships with OpenDoors kids and their families. They are the glue that holds this vibrant community together.
We can never thank our sponsors enough. Webb Insurance and Oppenheimer sponsored the event with cash contributions, but have also provided insurance, financial advice and moral support throughout the year. Ceci’s Culinary Tour, Table, Jack of the Wood, Mela, Vinnie’s, Chorizo, Limones, Sante, Old Europe, The Laughing Seed, Early Girl Eatery, The Chocolate Lounge and West End Bakery provided all the food for free. Please think of these restaurants when you make your weekend plans. Those glamorous hairstyles worn by the art handlers and hostesses were the combined vision of Ananda, Wink, and Blue Ribbon Salons, and the decor was provided by Susie Millions and Mark Field. All of these incredible businesses and individuals made this year’s event the smashing success it was, and we at OpenDoors are forever grateful.
We have learned a lot in our first year, and we hope you will join us again soon to educate, celebrate and elevate Asheville’s most as-risk youth. For more photos of the event, visit us on facebook.