South Central Regional Medical Center's annual Art of Healing extravaganza has been canceled due to COVID-19. However, an online auction will begin Wednesday morning.
Hospital officials said even though the in-person event had been canceled, that more money will be raised for the South Central Health Care Foundation because anyone can participate.
"The auction will be expanded online to all who want to participate. But most of all, our funds will increase, because the Art of Healing sponsors have been so gracious to contribute their sponsorship contributions toward the auction," hospital officials wrote in an email.
All proceeds will go to the South Central Health Care Foundation to fund community health initiatives in Jones County, MS throughout the year. Lives have been saved as a result of the community health events funded by the Art of Healing in years past.
The online auction will feature acrylic painting, hand-made jewelry, pottery, watercolor paintings, a hand-carved knife, stained glass, event tickets, art classes and more.
“The Art of Healing, held each year in March, has become one of the most anticipated events in the community with more than 400 individuals attending each year," said Becky Collins, executive director of the South Central Health Care Foundation. "Over the last few years, the event has featured an online auction through Greater Giving, which allows participants to bid on items on their iPhone or iPad while they socialize with others at the event. The highlight of the evening is dinner and dancing to the music of one of the top bands in the South — Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster.
“With guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and the medical staff leadership at South Central Regional Medical Center, the event planners for the Art of Healing made the decision in early March to reschedule the event for Saturday, July 11, in hope COVID-19 would decline and large groups of people could gather again by mid-summer. It was a reasonable plan, but as you know, the number of COVID-19 cases in Jones County and surrounding areas have continued to rise. The health of our community is of utmost importance to us, so our planning team had no choice but cancel the event for 202. Hopefully this will all be behind us by 2021, and we can host the Art of Healing at The Gables again.”
Technology has offered a solution to help support the foundation.
“Art of Healing is the largest fundraiser for our Foundation. In 2017, the Art of Healing began offering electronic bidding at the event for event guests," Collins said. "Due to the cancellation of the main social event on July 11, we have worked to offer an online, public auction through Greater Giving. Users can simply visit scrmc.com, click ‘Art of Healing Auction’, click start bidding, enter your registration information and start browsing the site. The auction opens for bidding on Wednesday at 8 a.m. It is a blessing to have this technology in place.”
There will also be a video on the website to show you how to operate the Greater Giving auction site.
Guests will place bids from their cellphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Bidders will be notified if they have been outbid, so they may place another bid or set a max bid.
“This is a great way to feature the work of artists locally and those from around the country who have contributed to the event. We are excited to open this auction to anyone who would like to participate. There is something for everyone in this collection including paintings, photography, jewelry, gift certificates, a vacation stay, pottery and more,” Collins said.
The event planners worked diligently with sponsors and vendors to reschedule the original event.
“We are very thankful for the support and flexibility of The Gables and other vendors, along with our sponsors. Their willingness shows their true dedication to our community,” Collins said.
Sponsors for the auction include: BancorpSouth, Blakeney Communication, Brian Ginn - State Farm, Burson, Entrekin, Orr, Mitchell, Lacey, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, Cerner, City of Laurel, Community Bank, Ear, Nose & Throat Surgical Clinic, Headrick Signs & Graphics, HORNE, LLP, Howard Industries, Inc., IMPACT, John D. Jefcoat - State Farm, Joiner Insurance, Jones College, Jones County Chamber of Commerce, Laurel Cancer Care, Laurel Leader-Call, Laurel Rotary Club, Magnolia State Bank, Mississippi Power, Mutual of America, Radiology Associates, P.A., Southern Advantage, Inc., The First, The Gables, Trustmark National Bank, WDAM and WHLT.
For those who previously purchased a ticket for the 2020 Art of Healing, all tickets purchases will be refunded.
“We encourage our community to visit our website at scrmc.com or our Facebook event pages: Art of Healing 2020 or South Central Regional Medical Center. We will be sharing more information regarding the on-line auction daily.”