You may remember, a few weeks ago, we told you about the painting that Melissa Payne Baker created at the gallery with the help of several young, talented and energetic children, who all happen to have Juvenile Diabetes.
As always, when trying something brand new, we were a little hesitant about committing one of our artists to the daunting task of creating a painting with the purpose of raising money for a cause. What if it didn’t work out? What if it nobody bid on it and it didn’t raise any money? But we are also all very committed to the cause and it was clear, as the artists whipped out their magic and the painting started to unfold, that our fears would soon dissipate. Melissa and her team painted a gorgeous, vibrant and touching painting that had us all swooning over the end result. In fact, I knew that I’d be the first to bid on it at the gala and was already secretly plotting where I would put it.
And then the big night of the gala arrived, with all of us dressed to the nines, but none looking more beautiful or angelic than our lovely artist, Melissa Payne Baker.
Melissa stood by the painting, with her wonderful husband Rick by her side, and posed with many of the adorable children who had contributed to the art.
Melissa and Rick Baker
Melissa with Amelie and Mitchell (who, by the way, is the single best fundraiser you will ever meet!)
With cute Claire.
And proudly posing with their gorgeous work of art.
Remember that Melissa asked all of the artists to write down their dreams, and she incorporated them in to the final painting.
Some dreamed of becoming artists, or actors, or astronauts. While others dreamed of being able to do sleepovers, or never having to worry, or being able to eat lunch without having to go to the nurse and get shots. All of their dreams were poignant and heartfelt. And all of them strengthened this already powerful painting.
And then, drum roll, the moment we were all waiting for. In my mind, the highlight of the live auction, with Melissa and Rick proudly displaying the beautiful painting up on stage, while the artists posed in front.
The bidding began at $2,000 and quickly rose to $5,000. I raised my hand eagerly a few times over, until I realized that it was going out of my league. And as much as I wanted the painting, I couldn’t have wished for anything better.
$10,000 and we were sure it would stop there. The kids were ecstatic! The parents were cheering! I was in disbelief. And like a fast moving ball game, the bids continued to bounce around the room. And then the words that made us all cry:
Sold, for Twelve Thousand Dollars!!
Thank you Melissa. Thank you artists. This was a dream come true.
PS The Atlanta JDRF gala raised a record whopping $1.6MM for this event. Congratulations to all. We were thrilled to be a part of it.