Brockville auction kicks off to support Kids Help Phone
Walking into the downtown Brockville Bank of Montreal, a display greets you with multiple items, from paintings to jean jackets.
It’s part of an online auction this weekend raising money for a children's charity and also showcasing the wide range of talent from the region.
"Having the gallery out is very nice, it's bringing awareness to the event itself and also bringing awareness to the talent we have in Brockville," said auction creator Katie van de Kamp, a personal banking associate with BMO.
The bank has partnered with Kids Help Phone for years according to van de Kamp, with her branch usually holding a spring 5K run in support.
"As soon as they put up the opportunity for us to individually fundraise, I wanted to take that a little bit further," she said.
She started the Brockville & area local creator auction last year and raised $1,200. Now, back for a second year, she's been overwhelmed with the amount of item donations from young artists to senior citizens.
"The talent in Brockville and this community is just incredible and it's coming out of the woodwork," she said. "Our youngest donor at this time is eight-years-old, her name is Annabel McCarthy, and she is incredibly talented. She's actually been fundraising for Kids Help Phone almost before she could walk."
Irmgard Heidt, known locally as the teddy bear lady, has also contributed hand-made teddy bears and other items.
Local graphic designer Andrew Filion, who works for Ignite Printing and contributed artwork in 2021, has offered up two paintings this year.
"I wouldn't say it's easy. Art's a journey," he quipped. "It's a passion first and a profession second, I'd say."
"Since I was a kid drawing dinosaurs, you know, and as I got a little bit older I matured straight into superheroes so there's kind of a thematic element there that you are going to see from the pieces that we've put together," filion added.
His artwork is of two superheros done in abstract style with paint splatter.
"They are labours of love, honestly" he said. "I made them for myself originally and it's just nice to be able to share them in a way that's meaningful with other people."
Filion says he's blown away by all of the items up for auction, and that there is real talent throughout the community.
"It's very humbling, actually, watching some of these pieces come out and seeing the variety of art and the different mediums being used," he said. "As a contributor you're always kind of your own worst critic and seeing the talent that's out there is just like, it's humbling, it's gratifying to see that we live in a community that are making these types of contributions."
He hopes his artwork will fetch a good amount for Kids Help Phone.
"It's an incredible program that's been around for a long time and we'd like to see that there for our kids and our kids' kids and hopefully long beyond that as well," he said.
"It's really important that kids have the ability to reach out when they might not have the support at home," van de Kamp added, remembering the 80's kids help phone commercials during Saturday morning cartoons growing up.
"Now they can text, they can chat, they can email or call of course, and there is one person, one individual who is there to talk to them about their issues, whether it's depression, bullying, abuse, anxiety, just COVID or life in general," she added.
About 140 items are available to bid on through the Brockville and area local creator auction Facebook group, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Kids Help Phone.
Van de kamp says she really only has one goal for this year’s event.
"If I can get $1,201 I will be happy, because that would beat our total from last year," she smiled. "Hopefully it'll be way past $1,201.”
The auction kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday and runs until Sunday at 8 p.m.
All of the rules can be found on the Brockville & area local creator auction Facebook page.