11th annual HALO art auction benefits homeless children

Tim Tinnin bids on items for auction Friday at the 11th annual HALO ArtReach Auction at the Capital Bluffs Event Center. The auction included artwork from local and nationally recognized artists.

Hundreds of people gathered to support HALO Friday night.

About 400 people attended the 11th annual HALO (Helping Art Liberate Orphans) ArtReach Auction to benefit local youth experiencing homelessness.

Joyce Neuenswander, the support manager for the HALO Foundation, said the auction helps fund programming for at-risk youth.

Friday night's event featured about 100 gift packages and works of art, she said. She added the event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for HALO.

Beside paintings, there were multimedia pieces, sculptures and pottery up for bid. During the silent auction part of the program, bidders could try to win St. Louis Cardinals or Kansas City Royals gift packages, meal or wine packages, or health and beauty packages. There were event tools available for the handy man (or handy woman).

The live auction included items, such as a Thanksgiving dinner, Husband of the Year package (which included a spa day, dinner, and wine and flowers for a year) a package of week-long passes to the Legends of Golf tour event in Branson, and a Kansas City Chiefs package.

Among those attending was Autumn, a HALO success story. A speaker during the evening's celebrations, she's been a part of the HALO family since June and has entered the nonprofit's HALO Home program. HALO provides homes for girls ages 16-21 and their children who are in homeless or high-risk situations, according to the organization's website.

Autumn is maintaining steady work and recently received a scholarship to attend Merrell University of Beauty Arts and Science in Jefferson City.

During the auction, which was at the Capital Bluffs Event Center at 1616 Oil Well Road, the organization also recognized people who have made a difference for HALO over the past year.

Kelli Jones received the Advocate of the Year award. Jones builds relationships and sets goals to reach out to the community on behalf of HALO, according to information provided by the nonprofit. She leads planned giving seminars and tax advice to potential donors. She also works as HALO's volunteer coordinator - connecting volunteers with HALO's needs.

Theresa McClellan is the Volunteer of the Year for the organization. McClellan "is an incredible role model for HALO youth living at the Home," according to a HALO news release. A retired counselor, she serves as a mentor to clients, teaches life skills, cooks meals and spends quality individual time with the residents.

Scott Loethen is the Artist of the Year, who is known for Family Tree designs and pen-and-ink renderings, according to HALO. The Jefferson City native has featured local landmarks, churches, homes, businesses and scenery.