by Frances Edstrom, columnist
No one can accuse Sheryl Miller of coming up with boring ideas!
When a local department store closed, Sheryl was shopping the sale, and noticed that there were store mannequins in great shape here and there around the store. She inquired as to the plans for them, and when she learned that they were for sale, she bought all the good ones and took them home.
As they languished in her garage, an idea began to form in her mind. Why not ask local artists to decorate the mannequins, wire them so they could be used as lamps, and then auction them off to make money for a good cause?
Sheryl didn’t have to look far for a good cause. Her grandson Kogan was born with Down syndrome, and local organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities became Sheryl’s good cause.
So on October 18, in the lobby of the WNB Financial building in downtown Winona, Light Up A Life will take to the runway.
The mannequins, having been delivered to local artists and decorated, will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. Proceeds will go to Winona DAC, Home and Community Options, Winona ORC, and the DSAW/La Crosse.
You can see some of the mannequins that will be auctioned in several places around town. At Acoustic Cafe, Christine Peterson’s “Erstwilla” is meticulously painted with designs inspired by Victorian accessories and industrial images. In the front windows of Home and Community Options on Third Street, you will find many other mannequins, each uniquely decorated by artists including Karen Sherman’s “Jewel du Mississippi,” Mary Singer’s “Wenonah,” Sarah Johnson’s “Into the Woods,” Marilyn Ezdone’s “Fast Eydie,” Eric Decker and Miriam Rotering’s “Hope,” Andrew and Sarah Boucha’s “Dana,” and ORC’s “Garden Party.” Cynthia Jennings’ creation, “Lady of the Woods,” will also be auctioned, as well as three by Sheryl Miller: “Mrs. Peacock,” “Crystal Clear” and “Huntington Beach.”
In all, there are a dozen lamp mannequins available to bid on at the live auction, courtesy of celebrity auctioneer Ryan Buhler of Winona DAC.
The doors open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 18. Guests will enjoy appetizers and beverages while they register for a bidding number and meet the artists. The auction will begin at 6 p.m. Music will be provided by Betsy Neil and the Winona Fiddlers. Tickets to the event may be purchased for $15 prior to October 18 at Hardt’s Music in downtown Winona, and at the door the evening of the event at WNB Financial.
Congratulations to Sheryl and her committee for creating a fundraiser different from the rest, and giving us a chance to support the wonderful agencies that light up the lives of such a vulnerable population in our community.