Texas: Art Auction Raises Funds for HIV Patients

On March 16, the East Texas Cares Resource Center sponsored the eighth annual silent auction called "Matisse March Madness" to raise money for the Center, which assists HIV/AIDS patients. Executive director of the Center, Jeanette Deas Calhoun, stated, "We have the makings of a really, really exciting and fun art auction. This fundraiser is extremely important to our agency because it allows us to continue and support the programs that we have for our clients. Moneys generated will go directly into program services." Local artists donated approximately 170 art pieces to the silent auction expected to generate funds in the $12,000 to $16,000 range for the Center.

Approximately 150 people attended the auction held at The Market at the Crossing in Tyler, Texas. The auction included photographs; print art; acrylics; oil paintings; watercolor paintings; panels done with heavily textured fibers; vintage jewelry; hand-thrown, high fired pottery; and a blue dog lithograph. Bids ranged from $20 for a small object to an opening bid of $1,000 for a framed watercolor.

East Texas Cares Resource Center has experienced several names since its inception in 1989. It began as a hospice for HIV-positive persons called "His House, serving in that capacity for 12 years. In 2001, it became Tyler AIDS Services, which provided services to people living with HIV/AIDS as well as prevention education services to East Texas residents. The organization changed its name to the East Texas Cares Resource Center in October 2012 to better reflect its activities. Currently, its emergency assistance program provides case management and support for housing, utilities, and pharmacy needs for HIV clients. East Texas Cares Resource Center also administers the Reclaim project, which helps people find jobs, return to college, or obtain a GED. The goal is to get people back in the workforce.