Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Sturgis Brown High School Art Club, American Legion offer art as memorials at fundraising auction

STURGIS, SD – It was a night to remember for those attending the Sturgis Brown High School Art Club and American Legion Post 33 fundraiser, held at the Sturgis Vets Club.  Stacey Nicholson is the manager there.

“The quality of people was amazing,” she says. “Everybody came to buy. They were here to support the art club and to get a tile in memory of someone.”

Auctioneer Adam Karrels volunteered his time and talent to the fundingraising auction that raised over $5,000 for the Sturgis Brown High School Art Club. Photo by Stacey Nicholson

The idea of hand painting ceiling tiles to be auctioned and then placed in the Sturgis Vets Club, became a joint project between Sturgis Brown High School Art Club instructors Anna Tescher and DeVee Dietz, along with Nicholson.

“Our classrooms both have painted ceiling tiles which everyone seems to love,” shares Tescher. “Me being a veteran myself and DeVee being an Army brat growing up, we both have military ties. Sturgis is such a military-oriented community with Fort Meade being here.” She continued, “A lot of the kids have brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles who are militarily involved.  We both thought it would be cool to get the kids involved in the history of the area with the military service and tie it with the Sturgis Vets Club that does a lot to help local veterans and the community.”

Members of the Sturgis Brown Art Club hand painted 2×4’ ceiling tiles, representing each branch of the military, along with replications of vintage wartime posters.  Two additional tiles were buyer’s choice. Bids started at $20 but support pushed the floor far higher – to an average of $500 per ceiling tile.

“They were beyond pleased,” Nicholson says of the teachers and students. “They didn’t know what to expect but this is definitely beyond their expectations as to what each tile brought.” The auction total was $5,240.

With donations continuing to come in for the Sturgis Brown High School Art Club and its planned cultural trip to Ireland, Nicholson said plans are for the fundraising event to become an annual affair.

There were bidders who didn’t get their tiles,” shares Nicholson. “They definitely want to see the fundraiser return. We hope to make it an annual event.”

The ceiling tiles – now personalized with individual memorials – will be installed by this Friday at the Sturgis Vets Club.  “A special thank you goes to Adam Karrels for his time and talent as our auctioneer,” said Nicholson. “This was an event and evening that will forever be treasured. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making this an unforgettable night.”

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