Armed with paintbrushes and canvasses, pencils and paper, and dominoes and socks, young students in Bexley dove into their own unique art projects last week that they hope will earn some cash for the Bexley Education Foundation.
"The children's art is always the highlight of the event," said Julie Cohen, co-chairwoman of this year's event.
BRAVO! -- dubbed "a party with a purpose" -- raises funds for the foundation's classroom and districtwide grant program.
The annual event is scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. March 1 at the L Brands World Headquarters, 3 Limited Parkway, Columbus.
The Children's Art Auction, just one of many activities at the event, will feature original pieces by students in grades K-12. The students' art projects are created with the support of parent volunteers, classroom teachers and art teachers.
All funds raised through the BRAVO! silent auction and raffle, as well as through sponsorships and ticket sales, are used to support the grant-making programs through the foundation.
After seeing some of the younger artists' creations last week, Cohen said the Children's Art Auction symbolizes the impetus for BRAVO!.
"Each student's own character comes through their art, and you truly learn the personalities of each classroom," Cohen said. "It reminds us why we are there for the night."
This year's artwork features paintings created with domino pieces, as well as owl drawings, artwork using children's socks and paintings of scenes throughout the Bexley community.
Cohen said the auction brings in more than just parents bidding for their own child's artwork. Community members dive into the bidding war as they recognize the artistic talent of very young hands.
"It's truly special," added Cohen.
Other events at this year's fundraiser will include a silent auction with more than 200 items to bid on, a 50/50 raffle, a cash bar, family photo opportunities, and food from more than 39 area restaurants and caterers.
Food vendors include the Bexley Chocolatier, Bexley Pizza Plus, Caryn's Cuisine, C'est Si Bon, City Barbeque, G. Michael's, J. Gilbert's, Katzinger's Delicatessen, the Rusty Bucket, Starbucks, the Mad Greek, the Top Steak House, Thirsty Turtle and Wing's Restaurant.
Raffle items include a personalized group tour of Jack Hanna's building at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium; four park hopper passes to Walt Disney World; a Columbus Museum of Art membership with a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit or other current exhibitions led by the museum's Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes; the opportunity to serve as Bexley Mayor for a Day; and a private party room at Seventh Son Brewing Co., to name a few.
Tickets for the event are $50 each, or $75 for a patron donation. They can be purchased online at bexleyeductionfoundation.org or by calling 614-338-2093. Sponsorships are available, starting at $300 for a Bronze Sponsorship, which includes two tickets to the event.
Advance ticket sales will end at midnight Thursday, Feb. 27.
Tickets will be available at the door the night of the event for $75 each.