Hope on the auction block

Artwork benefits children’s charities

Editorial Staff
March 23, 2006

Spring has sprung, as the black-and-white winter gives way to full-colour once more. Traditionally a time of re-birth and hope, the Spring equinox, this year, seems to have opened more than one new door. As nature prepares for its greatest season of giving, artists from all over the world prepare their artwork for BambinAsta, an auction for childrens charities scheduled for March 26 at Villa Cora, in Florence. Artists such as Michele Benedetto, Emilio Pucci, Ron Swenson, Nolde Bansiger, and actor Paul Newman, to name a few, have donated their work to help raise funds for non-profit organisations operating in Tuscany. Auction beneficiaries include Soccorso Clown, The Dalia Center, Fondazione Dynamos Villaggio and the International School of Florence Scholarship Program.

Soccorso Clown is a nationally recognised group of professional actors with specialities ranging from music to magic. They are trained to apply their special hospital clown skills to cater to the needs of chronically and critically ill children in hospitals around Italy. The Soccorso Clown programme gives the proven health benefit of laughter to hospitalised children, and acts as a powerful partner to traditional medical therapy, helping to reduce the anxiety and isolation children experience when undergoing physical therapy or intensive medical procedures.

The Dalia Center, born out of the recognition of a severe lack of facilities providing healthcare, specialised education and social integration for at-risk Italian children, is scheduled to open its doors in Tuscany by 2007. The centre will offer comprehensive treatment to Italian children and young adults afflicted with mental, psychological and related social problems, based on individualised educational, psychological and clinical treatment programmes.

Fondazione Dynamos Villaggio will be the first holiday camp in Italy catering exclusively to children from ages seven to fifteen who suffer from life-threatening and chronic illnesses. The project is inspired by the Hole in the Wall Camps, founded in Connecticut in 1988 by Paul Newman, who is still active in the association. Over sixteen years of experience have gone into the realisation of five camps in the United States, as well as camps in France, Ireland, Israel, South Africa, Jordan, Canada and Costa Rica. Now its Tuscanys turn. Villaggio Suvero is scheduled to open in Spring 2007.

The International School of Florence Scholarship Program was created to provide tuition assistance to prospective students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the International School of Florence due to financial limitations. The scholarship will be awarded to students who demonstrate the potential to make a difference, as productive members of the world community.

It is hoped that, through this event, we may help to sustain these programs and promote awareness of their invaluable work with children, says Elisabet Carosella, auction co-ordinator and Dalia Center President. Silent and private auctions, conducted by Sothebys International and sponsored by Eli Lilly and General Electric, will take place in Florence on Sunday, March 26 at the Grand Hotel Villa Cora, Villa Machiavelli 18, from 3pm and 5:30pm respectively. For more information about BambinAsta contact [email protected] or [email protected].

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