Planning and executing a virtual fundraiser during a global pandemic is difficult. When it seemed an in-person art show and auction for the Penick Village Benevolent Assistance Program was not going to be an option for 2021, the Penick Village Art Show Committee volunteers began planning for an unforgettable virtual event.

Even though the large majority of committee members had never been on Zoom before, everyone learned quickly and met regularly to plan an art show that, in a typical year attracted more than 300 people to the Grand Hall on Penick Village’s campus.

“Led by Chairwoman JoAnne Davis Fox, the committee was assured that we would find a way to solve every challenge, and there were many,” says Caroline Eddy, chief development officer of Penick. “Trying to encourage attendees to purchase art and pottery they could not see first-hand, did not seem feasible.”

The artist subcommittee chairs — Molly Gwinn, Mary Ann Halstead and Joanne Kilpatrick — secured a generous arrangement for a preview week at the Arts Council of Moore County in their galleries located at the Campbell House in Southern Pines.

“While the number of art and pottery pieces we could accommodate had to be lowered, the art community responded, with many artists donating 100 percent of funds generated from the sale of their work to Penick’s benevolent assistance program,” says Eddy.

Chairing the pottery subcommittee again this year were Margaret Page and Jane Lewis, who appreciated the assistance of Rosalee Ackerman. “Our loyal potters were also incredibly generous and did not hesitate to donate generously again,” says Eddy. “Residents Cele Bryant, Barbara Holderby and Gail Puleo were active members of the art show committee, helping out in a number of different ways.”

Sponsors, led by First Bank, responded quickly to support the program. Other corporate sponsors included Medipack Pharmacy; The Pilot; Pinnacle Development Design Build; Pinnacle Resolute Construction; U.S. Foods; Franklin Street Partners; Pottle Financial Services; Robbins, May and Rich LLP; Smith Anderson; Truist Securities and several more, including Black Sheep Design; Brian Schiff, Tonya Bodie, and BS&A LLC; Carolina Eye Associates, P.A; John Heckethorn Architecture PLLC; McGriff Insurance Services Inc.; Pearl Creek Advisors LLC; Poyner Spruill LLP; RBC Wealth Management; Tucker Bria Wealth Strategies; and Van Scoyoc Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.

“Local merchants joined in to help our cause, even after a most difficult year,” says Eddy. “Kay Bozarth, a Foundation Board member and art show committee member, recruited many of the businesses in downtown Southern Pines for the silent auction Items, which were all very popular.

Live auction items were donated by friends of Penick Village, including John and Catherine Earp, Rollin and Frank Shaw, Cele Bryant, Elizabeth & John Oettinger, Beth and Elliott Kirven, Doug and Lydia Gill, Southern Pines Brewing Company and James Creek Cider House.

Devoted donors who have participated over the years to help the Benevolent Assistance Program gave more than $130,000, which after expenses gave the benevolent assistance program a gift of $99,658.

The Penick Village Dining Services Department prepared beautifully presented dining delights for the resident preview night and the gala night. Ticket holders drove through Penick Village to pick up their hors d’oeuvres, including shrimp, lobster, beef filet, veggies, desserts and more.

The benevolent assistance program at Penick Village was started to fulfill Bishop Penick’s wish that no resident be asked to leave their home at Penick Village due to unforeseen financial circumstances. For more than 57 years, Penick Village has been able to keep this promise. The annual art show and auction helps make this possible.

“The Penick Village family is very grateful for residents, sponsors, vendors and our community’s support in making this assurance to our residents a reality,” says Eddy.

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