Local art auction raises money for Bangladeshi orphans


Murphysboro resident Andrew Vaz, center; Dowell resident Niki McMurray, left; and Tiffany Yearian, of Du Quoin, eat lunch Monday, April 10, 2017, at the Longbranch Café & Bakery. The cafe is holding its 17th Annual For Kids’ Sake Art Auction through April 28. Much of the art displayed on the walls is part of the silent auction to benefit a number of youth humanitarian efforts. (William Cooley | @Wcooley1980)

By Diamond Jones

Artwork made by children from around the world will soon be auctioned off as a way to raise money for Bangladeshi orphans.

The artwork is created by local Carbondale children along with others from Bangladesh, Switzerland, Japan and Germany and is on display in Longbranch Café & Bakery through April. The For Kids’ Sake Art Auction will take place on April 28; all proceeds go toward providing health care products for 550 Bangladeshi orphans.  

“Just simply donating a $35 piece of art could feed 100 kids,” said Shema Ruperto, director of For Kids’ Sake.


Ruperto said artwork submissions began last summer and ran through March 28. Local children were given the opportunity to participate in workshops to enhance their artistic abilities.

“It’s a true community effort,” Ruperto said.

Ruperto said more than 50 Carbondale businesses and organizations are coordinating with For Kids’ Sake this year to reach a $40,000 fundraising goal.

That goal would provide 6,600 hygiene kits, 14 new toilets, 1,100 new sets of clothes, six arsenic-free deep water wells, 550 sets of new bedding and various expenses for doctor visits.

“This shows that kids really get it; they really have the compassion for other kids their age and want to help,” Ruperto said. “Their efforts are what make this a success.”

Ruperto said Longbranch Café & Bakery is one the auction’s biggest supporters. For the past 17 years, the owners have promoted the event and catered dinners for the cause.

The organization will host its closing celebration from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on April 28 at Longbranch Café & Bakery. Festivities include live performances, a South Asian buffet dinner, raffles and gift-baskets.


“We really try to make it a cultural experience for southern Illinois,” Ruperto said.

Raffle prizes include a $2,500 scooter and a $1,200 dirt bike donated by Southern Illinois Motor Sports. The “Eat Out for a Year” prize drawing is funded by 25 restaurants in Carbondale with a $600 value in gift certificates.

For more information about the auction, visit the For Kids’ Sake website.

Campus reporter Diamond Jones can be reached at [email protected], 618-536-3325 or on Twitter @_dimewrites.

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