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Art Auction benefits UI Children’s Hospital

BY SARAH LARSON | DECEMBER 04, 2009 7:30 AM

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Ebaa El Melik just wants to thank Iowa City.

The Qatar native has lived here for only four years, but in that time, she has developed a love for the town. So as her way of giving to the community, the graduating senior decided to hold an auction to benefit the UI Children’s Hospitals.

The event will take place Saturday at Riverside Theatre, 213 N. Gilbert St., with a reception beginning at 7 p.m. and the auction following at 8. Admission is $20; tickets are available at Chait Galleries, 218 E. Washington St., Velvet Coat, 116 E. Washington St., and Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St.

Melik said she is excited about the upcoming event. She has an extraordinary amount of confidence in the local community and has high regard for both the artists and sponsors.

“You would not know how amazing Iowa City is until you do something that has to do with philanthropy, and you have everyone helping you,” she said. “So I am just excited to raise a lot of money for the Children’s Hospital this weekend.”

A variety of art work, including drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs, created by various community members will be available for purchase. All proceeds will go specifically to the Child Life Program.

The Child Life Program’s focus is to make children’s stay as easy as possible by creating group activities, having one-on-one sessions with children, and helping families cope and handle stress.

“They are wonderful,” Melik said. “It’s a wonderful program.”

She has spent her last few weeks as a UI student putting together the auction.

“The response I got was great,” she said. “With such a short amount of time and to get so many artists, everyone is just so generous in Iowa City.”

Allison Colton, a UI senior who will graduate soon, is one of the contributing artists. Her donation was a fall theme painting of leaves.

For Colton, the cause is personal: Her 4-year-old brother has leukemia. She has done various things to donate to the cause, such as participating in both Dance Marathon and Locks of Love. She hopes the auction will be picked up again next year, she said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Colton said. “I love the fact that I’m able to be involved with it … It just gives me hope to know that I’m helping out a little kid somewhere. I think it’s going to be really successful, and I think it’s just great to get involved with it.”


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