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Art in the Garden closing its doors

Art in the Garden is closing its doors permanently.

Last fall, there were vacancies on the board of directors which were announced and advertised in The SUN and on Facebook. Only one person from the community stepped forward to offer their assistance in filling these positions. Most of the current board members have been involved with Art in the Garden every year for the past four years, and now some have had to go on to other pursuits. The participants, as well as the local populace, will miss this event, which has become popular and has raised a significant amount of money to help fund assistance in our community.

Art in the Garden’s purpose was twofold: first, to develop a unique summer afternoon event featuring local fine art, music and gourmet food; second, the sale of tickets to raise funds to help those in need in the community.

The first event was held in the garden setting at Van and Mary K. Carpenter’s residence, with a few local artists and musicians. Tickets sold out, with over 200 attendees on a beautiful August afternoon. The reputation of Art in the Garden grew steadily. Ticket sales doubled from that first year, and the number of artists and musicians also increased. Last year there were 18 artists demonstrating their talent and eight musical groups providing continuous live music. Each year also provided a delicious gourmet menu freshly prepared for the event.

The event depended on an enormous amount of community support to minimize expenses and maximize the donation to the needy. There were dedicated volunteers who worked many hours, the artists donated their time and a percentage of their sales, and the musicians donated their time. Because of this wonderful community support, and support by those who purchased tickets to attend, Art in the Garden was able to contribute approximately $44,000 in combined proceeds from the four events. These funds were donated to the local Community Assistance Fund.

The Community Assistance Fund supports a food pantry, provides help with housing, and expenses for medicine, utilities, and gasoline to those in need. The Fund is administered by Pastor Don Ford of the Community United Methodist Church and is used to help anyone in our community who needs assistance, regardless of religious affiliation. It means people in the community helping people in the community.

Art in the Garden will be missed, but all those who helped, participated, and attended in the past should feel proud for what was accomplished through this wonderful event.

On Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Spring Rummage Sale at the Ross Aragon Community Center, Art in the Garden will sell all of the items accumulated to aid in putting on the event over the past four years. Items for sale include white table cloths, table cloth quilts, propane burners great for camping, high quality canopies, decorative items, a garden table with two chairs and many more items too numerous to list. All proceeds raised at this sale will be donated to the Community Assistance Fund.

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