Community Art Project raises $97,000

The Edisto Chamber of Commerce hosted the second Turtle Tide Art Auction in conjunction with the Edisto Fall Festival last Saturday, October 7. It was a warm Fall day at Edisto; the sun was shining, the band was playing, and more importantly, people were feeling very generous. From this community-based art project, 10 turtles were auctioned off, raising $97,000 to benefit eight local non-profits, far exceeding last year’s total raise of $60,000.

Since this was only the second year for the Turtle Tide Art Project, no one really knew what to expect, just hopeful to raise just as much if not more money than last year. The fee to become a turtle sponsor was still $1,000 per turtle and with 100% of the proceeds going back to the designated non-profit for each turtle, anything above the sponsor fee was considered a win.

The live auction began a little after 2:30pm. Bidders had to register beforehand and were given auction paddles with bidder numbers. It was a slow start for registration but by the time the auction began 47 people had signed up and were ready to start bidding!

Local business owner Peter Beck volunteered as the official auctioneer for the event again this year. Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison, along with help from Darrin Moore, introduced each turtle, along with its sponsor and the artist who painted it. As each turtle came up for auction, representatives from the turtle’s associated non-profit were invited to come speak about their organization. Speakers touched on their mission and explained how they planned to use any proceeds from the auction. Bidding started at $1,000 and was increased in a minimum of $200 increments. Bidding began with the first turtle, “Sunny”, grossing $7,000 to kick off the auction. Turtle #4, “Leo” was the first one to cross over the $10,000 threshold but, he most definitely was not the last. A few friendly and highly entertaining bidding wars broke out over several turtles to keep things interesting.

From left: Auctioneer; Peter Beck, Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison, and Darrin Moore

From left: Walton Salley, Ashley Judy, Mott Parker, Sue Wooten, Matthew Kizer, and Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison with “LilyBelle”

The last turtle community-based art project that went up for auction was “LilyBelle”, sponsored by the Edisto Belles, and dedicated to one of Edisto’s own – Ding Kizer. Unfortunately, Ding lost her battle with cancer a few months prior. Ding’s sister, Walton Salley, spoke about her sister and how important early detection is when it comes to cancer. It was very clear that this turtle, painted by local artist Caroline Eynon, was very special. Ding’s husband, Matthew Kizer ended up being the highest bidder. “LilyBelle” was the highest grossing turtle, coming in at an impressive $14,400. The Edisto Belles had two turtles benefiting them and grossed over $24,000 from the event to put towards their mission of helping people with breast cancer throughout their journey.

Story by: Edisto Chamber of Commerce 

Leave a Reply


Start a Project

Contact Us Today!