ART of Giving Raises Over $100,000 for Food For Thought Outreach
October 3, 2013 by SoWal Staff
The South Walton community rallied together on Thursday, September 26 to enjoy a festive evening of camaraderie and participate in an online auction and art raffle of select works from celebrated artist Justin Gaffrey all in support of Food For Thought Outreach, a Walton County-based non-profit that provides food to local children in need. Presented by Gaffrey, Beachy Beach 30A and Summer House Lifestyle, the widely successful event, ART of giving, raised an excess of $100,000 for the non-profit organization.
“I am inspired by the people in my life that move me to help, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do so,” said Gaffrey, artist and founder of the Justin Gaffrey Studio Gallery. Gaffrey generously donated the 100+ paintings that were featured in the online auction and on-site raffles during the event.
The evening included an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres by chef duo Gaffrey and Phil McDonald of Table Five Private Chef + Catering, beverages from Grayton Beer Company and Chan’s Wine World and elegant music from dulcimer player Kyle Paxton. The art auction was executed entirely online via the website Bidding For Good and volunteers helped guests log in and place final bids on iPads during the event. Plans are already underway for a 2014 ART of Giving event to feature a collaboration of local artists.
“This is a story about doing what you can as an active member of your community. Too often we allow what we cannot do to overshadow what we can,” added Tiffanie Shelton, founder of Food For Thought Outreach. “This is an extremely proud moment for me personally, for the organization and for our community. This event will serve as a huge milestone for Food For Thought Outreach and has provided a foundation for longevity and growth in our service. I will be forever grateful to Justin for providing this gift, for the sponsors and volunteers who made it possible and to our community for its great success.”
In the past month, Food for Thought Outreach has added over 100 children to its service and delivers 250 bags with over 2,000 food items weekly in both Walton and Okaloosa counties. The goal of the organization is to enable area children to focus on their development and education by removing the fear of food insecurity. Through volunteers and donations, Food For Thought provides a simple backpack filled with healthy, easy-to-prepare food for eligible children to take home over the weekend.
ART of Giving was made possible by the generous donations and support of the Justin Gaffrey Studio Gallery, Beachy Beach 30A, Summer House Lifestyle, Chan’s Wine World, Grayton Beer Company, Table Five Private Chef + Catering, Kyle Paxton, Copy Systems, 30A.com, VIE Magazine, SoWal.com, Destin Shines, Red8 Creative, M Public Relations and the Food For Thought Outreach volunteer staff. For additional information regarding Food For Thought Outreach, please visit www.foodforthoughtfl.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Food for Thought Outreach Food For Thought Outreach, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, that provides backpacks filled with healthy, easy-to-prepare food to children dependent on regular school meals. Our goal is to offer a healthy and kid-friendly alternative through fresh fruit, whole grains and proteins that not only feeds each child, but supports their nutrition and overall development. Food for Thought has been helping children in Walton County, Florida since 2010 and will begin serving in Okaloosa County in the fall of 2013. With community support, the organization plans to expand into neighboring counties helping more children each year. For more information, please visit www.foodforthoughtfl.org.