The Community Design Center hosted its annual fundraiser at the Emporium last week. If you don’t know about the center, you should. It’s an innovative organization started in 1969 devoted to “bringing professional design and planning assistance to community groups and non-profit organizations.” As its project this month, for example, the group “completed a conceptual design” for enhancements to the Old City, but they’ve also helped a host of local non-profit organizations with designs for expansions, new buildings and other projects.
Their work costs money and so fundraising along with grants and donations helps cover expenses. The charge for attending the event was $50 and a silent auction was held to raise additional money through the sale of donated items. Judging from the numbers of people who apparently paid $50, the event succeeded nicely. Fortunately, I received the good neighbor discount: a good neighbor gave me a ticket.
Mayor Rogero and Eddie Mannis signed in about the same time I arrived. John Craig and Finbar Saunders mingled among the crowd as did a number of other Knoxville leaders. After signing in, guests were provided wine and heavy hors d’ oeuvres which means a pretty hearty meal where I come from.
Silent auctions are always fun to me and I sometimes get a little over zealous, spending money I would best have held onto. Art, food, memorabilia and services lined a series of tables along one side of the room and those who had signed up for the auction placed their number beside the bid for the object of their heart’s desire. The Pat Summitt autographed mini-basketball seemed like a sure-fire seller, though some of the more esoteric items seemed a bit more questionable.
I already have a piece of Cynthia Market art and while I loved the Walnut at Union piece that featured the Daylight Building, it had already climbed to near $200 when last I looked. That’s when I spotted the Brian Pittman cathedral. Small, framed and original, the listing said it was valued at $200, but no one had bid, so I entered at the minimum starting bid of $125. I’ve wanted one of his cathedrals for a long time, but they are quite a stretch for my budget, so this seemed like my shot. Unfortunately, since I haven’t heard from them, I assume someone else took it home. I’ll get one someday.
This portion of the program ended with a brief presentation about the kind of work the organization does and the types of groups they help. It’s a worthwhile organization and if you’d like to solicit their help for your organization, you may do so through the link above. They have a presence downtown through the studio at 500 S. Gay Street.
The next portion of the event was a tour of some homes near or on the 100 Block and I’ll take you there in our next post. You will want to see these gorgeous condos at the Emporium and Fire Street Lofts.