Strings for charity

By Jessica Kalin

It was music to the ears of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Saturday when the painted violin charity auction was a success.

The auction, which raised money for the orchestra and was put on by the Kishwaukee Symphony Association, was held at the Ellwood House Museum, 509 N. First St.

The auction featured 24 violins that had been donated and painted with scenes. The event was the first time an auction of its kind was held in DeKalb.

“The violins were donated to the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra from various places,” said Gretchen Moore, chair of the Kishwaukee Symphony Association. “So many of us are involved with music that it was just a matter of contacting people we know.”

The fundraiser attracted more than 140 attendees. Twenty of the 22 artists also came to the event.

“Everyone was able to talk to the artists about their work,” Moore said.

Artist Bill Haendel, a sculpting teacher for 30 years at NIU, had two violins in the auction.

“I was happy to see they went for such good prices,” he said. “I am a firm believer in supporting musicians. This was a community project, and more people should attend the orchestra.”

The goal of the evening was $10,000, which Moore said the organization reached.

“A lot of people would like to see us do this again,” Moore said. “It was a huge success and a magical night.”