Archived Story

All in to help

Published 7:31pm Monday, September 19, 2011

Auburn may have not come out on top on the gridiron Saturday, but they certainly came out to help tornado victims in the Dadeville area Sunday.

I spent my Sunday afternoon participating / covering “Auburn Art2Heart,” a unique fundraiser hosted by Jonna Chizik at Sips n Strokes in Auburn.

During the “girls afternoon out” style fundraiser, participants painted their own “masterpiece” as Sips n Strokes owner Beth Baggett led the class in painting the “All In Angel,” a piece designed exclusively for the event.

Now when I say I participated / covered the event, I mean that I painted along with the other participants while trying to make sure I a) took plenty of pictures and b) talked to enough people to write the story on page 1. Since my artistic abilities are next to nonexistent, this proved to be a challenge.

It started out OK. I was able to paint a good portion of my angel without a hiccup. Then, Aubie walked in. Women of all ages abandoned their painting to go take a picture with the lovable Auburn mascot, myself included.

After the excitement died down, Beth picked up where she left off, but Aubie decided he wanted to paint too. Suddenly, there was a dilemma.

Do I keep up with the class or go take awesome pictures of Aubie?

I went with Aubie. I had to catch up later on my painting, and as a result, the angel in my painting has lavender wings rather than white wings. Oops!

However, it all turned out just fine. I got plenty to write my story and wound up painting a picture that isn’t really all that bad, if I do say so myself.

Most importantly, I helped out a good cause right here in the community.

For anyone who is interested in helping out the Dadeville tornado victims in one way or another, I encourage you to participate in the Chizik family foundation’s next fundraiser: “The Tornado Trash2Treasure Art Gala and Celebration Concert.” This event will be held Oct. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Event Center on North Railroad Avenue in Opelika and will feature live entertainment, an art gala and both a silent and live auction.

The event will feature pieces of art created out of tornado debris by a number of artists from across the state, including Alexander City artists Lila Graves, Catie Radney, Ben Newman and Dadeville artist Mary Sue Lindsey.

The auction will also feature cool vacation packages and some pretty awesome one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia items, such as the jacket Coach Chizik wore during the 2010 BCS national championship game.

For those who won’t be able to make it to the event, select pieces are even available through an online auction that will run through Oct. 11.

For more information about the event, visit

Natalie Nettles is a staff writer for The Outlook.