Indiana Daily Student

Middle Way House art auction raises more than $20,000

Money will fund center's services for women and children

Middle Way House, Inc., a domestic violence and rape crisis center in Bloomington, raised more than $20,000 at a benefit art auction it held Saturday at the IU Foundation. \n"Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time," Middle Way House Legal Advocacy Coordinator Patricia Cummings said. "Things went very smoothly."\nCummings said between 125 and 150 people showed up for the event, which featured about 31 items in the live auction and about 60 pieces in the silent auction.\nThe top-selling item of the event was a Picasso print donated by actor and IU graduate Kevin Kline, which sold for $3,300. A Marc Chagall print sold for $2,200.\n"There were some serious collectors there," Cummings said. "People donated some wonderful pieces."\nFor an admission price of $7.50, attendees received a complimentary glass of wine or beer and hors d'oeuvres prepared by Food Works, Middle Way House's catering business that employs women the center has aided. A jazz quartet provided the music for the evening.\n"This auction was the result of four months of dedicated work," Cummings said. "We'll start work on next year's auction on Monday."\nThe event was co-sponsored by Bloomington Iron and Metal, Inc., and guests were entertained by auctioneer Jimmy Dean Coffey. \nLisa Morrison, media director for the auction, said some of the hot items at the silent auction were a mink coat, jewelry donated by Argentum and Elements Jewelry and a gift basket from Goods.\n"There were also many generous donations at the door," Morrison said. "The event was well-attended and there was a great show of support from the community."\nMiddle Way House serves Bloomington and surrounding areas by providing 24-hour hotline support, legal support, emergency crisis intervention counseling, emergency shelter and emergency child care for women and children. \n"The program has been around for over 20 years," Morrison said. "They have helped thousands of women and children in crisis."\nMiddle Way House's executive director, Toby Strout, said proceeds from the auction will support basic and emergency services the organization provides. \nMiddle Way House is also expanding with a project called New Wings development. It will offer office space, transitional housing and daycare programs in the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on Third Street as part of a historic renovation. The center purchased this property with the help of the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, the Business Investment Incentive, Housing and Neighborhood Development and Landmark Historic Preservation.\nFor more information on Middle Way House or volunteer opportunities, call 333-7404.

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