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Waverly House Again Raises Funds for A Sporting Chance

(Poster design courtesy Waverly House Gifts and Gallery)

Waverly House Gifts and Gallery, 2031 S. Waverly, presents the juried art show, "Dreams," and the gallery’s annual benefit silent auction for local organization A Sporting Chance on Thursday, November 8 from 5 - 8 p.m.  Eunice Wallar joined us to talk about it on KSMU’s “Arts News.”

Waverly House has held an annual fundraiser in November and December for youth-oriented non-profits for more than two decades, and Eunice Wallar says they have specifically raised funds for A Sporting Chance for probably the past six or seven years. “A Sporting Chance is an organization that provides sports programs for any person with a disability; at-risk youth; and disadvantaged youth. It’s a very diverse group, and encompasses a lot of folks that are not able to take part in other sports programs.  It’s (for) youth and adults, both. It includes seniors as well. And they serve over 2300 people in 26 counties, but they’re headquartered here in Springfield.”

Twenty-six artists are taking part in the “Dreams” juried show.  “We have had such generous donations this year from so many area artists.  It’s been wonderful.  We’re going to have a great silent auction,” says Eunice Wallar.  Items include jewelry, painting, pottery, turned wood, kiln formed glass, hand-wovens—“just anything you can think of,” she says.  “It’s a good variety. I think people will be pleased.”

Two of the entries in “Dreams,” pieces by Doris Doucette and Bill Deckers, have been purchased by Waverly House, and Wallar says they are both included among the silent auction items on Thursday evening.  It will also include entertainment: Johnny Strickler will play jazz guitar and there will be a special appearance by The Sho-Me Statesmen Chorus. 

“It’s going to be a great time,” says Wallar. “It’s always fun.”

100 percent of the proceeds from the silent auction will go to A Sporting Chance. They’ll also offer “Adopt an Athlete”. “For $30 you can ‘adopt’ an athlete for one sport for the year.  And Waverly House is giving a handmade mug as a thank-you gift to everyone who donates the $30.”

Best of Show and Theme awards have already been named by the jury for “Dreams.” Winning Best of Show is Nena Potts for her pendant “Between the Lines.” And Joanne Kenney’s collage “Dreaming of a Princess and a Kiss” received the Theme Award.  “As you might have guessed, there is a frog on that collage!” says Eunice Wallar with a laugh.

“Dreams” will continue at Waverly House through December 22nd, and even the non-silent auction items in the show will generate funding for A Sporting Chance, with a portion of proceeds from sale of these items going to the organization.

Wallar says the benefit raised between seven and eight thousand dollars last year for A Sporting Chance. “They do so many things on a small budget. And that’s one of the things that really caused us to help these folks out.”  She also has a personal stake in the health of the organization: Wallar’s grandson has Down syndrome.  “And he has played basketball and golf with A Sporting Chance.  So that’s how I learned a lot about the organization. And we feel like it’s such a worthwhile organization to help.”

Call 882-3445 for more information or visit

Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning "Arts News." Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's "Ozzie Award" in 2006.