Artist launches boats for SMILES horse-riding charity
IF YOU GO
What: Boat launch party for SMILES
When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Abbey Resort in Fontana
Cost: Tickets are $10 for those older than 12 and includes live entertainment by Jeff Trudell and one cocktail.
To help: Sponsorship opportunities still are available for businesses interested in displaying a boat this summer. Sponsorship packets are available online at smiles.nu or by calling (262) 882-3470.
LAKE GENEVA Pam Ring knows little about boats.
The artist and her husband, Ray, recently retired to Lake Geneva from their longtime home 35 miles north of New York City.
To Pam, the notion of decorating for charity two fiberglass model replicas of Chris-Craft powerboats, also known as Woodies, intrigued her.
Acquainting herself with the antique powerboats, she said, brought her closer to appreciating the lake community culture. Through her membership in the Lake Geneva Artist Association, she had learned Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills, known as SMILES, needed help with a fundraiser.
Each year, more than 300 adults and children with special needs from southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois partake in therapeutic horse riding at the 35-acre facility in Darien, said Sherry Monty, executive director of SMILES.
Pam’s two boats are a part of the Anchor’s Away fundraising exhibit for SMILES that will feature 75 model sailboats and 25 model antique wooden powerboats.
The sailboats are large enough to display in outdoor gardens, Monty said. The wooden boats are suited for table centerpieces and mantels, she said.
“It’s really quite a sight to see all of the boats in the same place,” Monty said.
Pam, a lifelong artist who usually works with paper collage, decorated her first boat with paper patchwork to embody her desire for spring and the love of gardening.
She named her second boat after the Broadway play “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” for its bright hues.
On Monday, the boats will be dispersed for display throughout Walworth County, including Bradley’s Department Store, 222 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan; Gordy’s Boat House Restaurant & Cobalt Lounge, 336 Lake St, Fontana; and Kilwin’s Chocolate & Ice Cream, 772 W. Main St., Lake Geneva.
The boat made by Elkhorn Area High School students will be displayed at Sperino’s Little Italy, 720 N. Wisconsin, Elkhorn.
A map of the locations of the boats eventually will be published and made available to the public, Monty said.
The boats will be auctioned Sept. 25 at the Abbey at the conclusion of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and International Boat Show at the resort.
The society expects more than 130 classic and vintage boats from the United States and Canada will be in town to cruise Lake Geneva.
SMILES officials do not have a fundraising goal.
“The sky’s the limit,” events coordinator Jeannie Sehnert said. “It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year.”
In 2008, artists created life-size colts for auction. About $170,000 was raised. In 2009, about $60,000 was raised with the auction of full-size and tabletop carousel horses.
Last year, SMILES held a fundraising festival at its Darien location. The group returned to the community art and auction format this year.