Porch Party, Blind Art Sale to Benefit Birmingham, Ala., Counseling Center

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ArtCard, a first-time fundraiser for Oasis Counseling for Women and Children sponsored by the nonprofit’s inaugural junior board, will take place Thursday, June 21 from 6–9 p.m. Organizers hope the event will increase visibility for the organization among young professionals, art enthusiasts and philanthropists.

ArtCard is a new fundraiser hosted by the Junior Board of Oasis Counseling for Women & Children. It features live music, food, beer, wine and a blind art sale where artists' names are kept secret.

There’s nothing else like this in Alabama. The anonymity of the artists is creating incredible buzz. We’re thrilled to use art as an instrument for raising awareness of all the amazing work Oasis does for women and children in Birmingham.

On Thursday, June 21, Oasis Counseling for Women and Children will host a new event called ArtCard at its Southside location from 6–9 p.m. Oasis’ newly formed junior board is hosting the shindig, which blends the spirit of a summertime cocktail party with the aesthetics of an art gallery.

ArtCard was inspired by similar events in the U.K. The evening will feature live music, food, wine, beer and a blind art sale of 6-by-9 inch cards created by local artists, celebrities and children. The artists’ names will be hidden until after purchase. All pieces of art will be sold for $50; tickets to attend are $20.

Event Chair Alden Speake lauds ArtCard as a new type of charity event in Birmingham. “There’s nothing else like this in Alabama,” she said. “The anonymity of the artists is creating incredible buzz. We’re thrilled to use art as an instrument for raising awareness of all the amazing work Oasis does for women and children in Birmingham.”

Proceeds from ticket and art sales benefit Oasis Counseling Center, whose mission is to help women and children heal, grow and overcome difficult life challenges by providing affordable mental health counseling and innovative education programs in a respectful and nurturing environment.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly four out of five women in Alabama live in a designated mental health professional shortage area, compared with 42 percent nationally. Oasis was founded in 1995 to help alleviate that disparity in the Birmingham area.

“The Junior Board has brought a new level of energy and enthusiasm to the whole organization. They are helping raise the visibility of Oasis through this fun, unique fundraiser,” Executive Director Kathryn Bowden said.

“These young, emerging leaders are concerned about the ongoing challenges of the nonprofit sector in our community. And through Oasis they have the opportunity to build their leadership skills while learning about the impact of mental health issues on women and children in our community,” Bowden explained.

Sponsors of ArtCard 2012 include InterFirst Capital, Benny and Anne LaRussa, Weld for Birmingham, Roy Bevill, FreeTextbooks.com, The Modern Brand Company, Judge Katrina Ross and Royal Cup Coffee.

Members of the Oasis Junior Board are: Ashley Bentley, Julia Bevill, Barnett Chenoweth (Secretary and Treasurer), Marianne Combs, Michael Hansen (Public Relations Chair), Jane Johnson, Megan Kyle, Chelsey LaRussa, Megan LaRussa (President), Celina Miller, Anna Catherine Roberson, Mary Elizabeth Roberson, Meredith Robinson (Vice President), Knight Sauls, and Alden Speake (Event Chair).

Oasis Counseling for Women and Children, a nonprofit organization and a United Way partner, supports the emotional well being of women and children in the Birmingham metropolitan area, including the counties of Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair and Walker. A provider of mental health services and educational programs since 1995, Oasis’ history centers on a compassionate commitment to the community.

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Michael Hansen

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