Art for Charlie Art Show & Auction to be held November 6th

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Monday, November 2, 2015, 8:00 am
Karessa Wheeler

“Good Morning Little One” by Tracie Davis is among the art for sale at the 2015 Art for Charlie Foundation Auction.

It all began with a painting too nice to put in a rummage sale.

In 2011, John and Abby Waller were looking for a way to connect with the East Lansing community and teach them about their extraordinary son, Charlie, who was diagnosed with an incurable brain stem cancer (a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG). They collected unused items to sell at a rummage sale at the People’s Church with the goal of giving the proceeds to local cancer charities.

But Abby’s aunt, Liz Graham-Yooll, a talented artist in Tuscany, sent them a stunning landscape that they just couldn’t bear to place next to chipped coffee mugs and old sweatshirts.

“We saw this and said ‘Let’s have an art show,’” John said. “It was a great success. We donated money to local cancer charities and eventually set up the foundation.”

Thus launched the annual “Art for Charlie” auction. On Friday Nov. 6, the Wallers will host the fourth art show, auction and silent auction which raises money for the Art for Charlie Foundation. The money goes to support families of a terminally-ill child or who have lost a child. It also goes to raise awareness and support for pediatric palliative care across Michigan.

This year’s auction is focused on high-quality art for every budget, John said.

“The goal is ‘less art, higher quality’,” he said. “We want it to be a place people can Christmas shop.”

The event takes place at the Marriott Hotel in downtown East Lansing and features former local television anchor Jason Colthorpe as the auctioneer for the live portion of the auction. The $35 ticket price includes food, parking and a cash bar.

Artists participating this year include Michelle Cerrito-Nazzaro, Carolyn Damstra, Elahe Crocket, Tracie Davis, Dustin Derrick, Janet Halfmann-Erickson, Francesca Gagliano, Reagan & Danny Geschardt, Penny Graham-Yooll, Matt Holben, Vicci Knowlton, Jessica Kovan, Lena Levin, Mary Liechty, Alisa Lincoln, Mark Mehaffey, Connie Miller, Lynn Monroe, Jane Reiter, Becca Schlaff, Suzanne Sonneborn, Carol Spry and Linda Wegener. Samples of their work can be found at

What: Art for Charlie Art Show & Auction

When: Friday Nov. 6, 2015 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Where: Marriott Hotel, East Lansing

Tickets: $35. Available at Schuler Books & Music or online at
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