Art to the Rescue! raises funds for AARC

This year’s fundraiser took place at The Vineyard at High Holly on Scaly Mountain.

Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer

Wine with a special label was donated for the silent auction by Sherrie Wheeler to honor her late husband, Fred, and their dog.

A fundraiser involving art, wine, and food for the benefit of Appalachian Animal Rescue Center in Franklin happened Sunday, Sept. 29, at The Vineyard at High Holly on Scaly Mountain. For three hours, around 200 attendees who purchased the $30 tickets were able to enjoy perusing and purchasing art by local artists as well as vistas, from an open-air venue, of grapevines, flower gardens, and a man-made waterfall. 

Photographer Jason Rizzo was one 10 local artists displaying and selling their work for the benefit of animals.

Besides ticket sales, participating artists donated 35 percent of their event sales to the Appalachian Animal Rescue Center. There was also a silent auction and a raffle for the benefit of the fundraiser. 

Fred Bulgin, woodturner, of Franklin presented his intricate art pieces at The Appalachian Animal Rescue fundraiser

“This is our third year doing this type of event,” said Sharon Archer, vice president on the board for Appalachian Animal Rescue Center. “Deedee and Jim Vance [owners of the Vineyard at High Holly] were nice enough to offer to let us have this year’s fundraiser at their place.”

Archer said 10 local artists exhibited everything from oil paintings to jewelry to sculptured masks to wood-turned items. A California artist, Marty Katon, who is also a wildlife expert, provided three pieces to be auctioned off, as did local artist Pearl Tate. Ristorante Paoletti in Highlands donated an oil painting for the silent auction. And Rick Heinzem, proprietor of Doodle Bugs in Franklin, contributed an art piece for the raffle. Silent auction items included baskets overflowing with gift certificates, wines, and more. 

Fay Teller Panico exhibited portraits at the fundraiser for The Appalachian Animal Rescue.

“Last year we raised $10,000,” said Archer. Although this year’s exact total was not confirmed by press time, monies raised were already exceeding last year’s figure. Archer pointed out that Appalachian Animal Rescue Center benefits greatly from the annual fundraiser.