A cleaning project turned into a fundraiser called "Fuel for Vets" to help veterans handle their heating bills this winter.

Nearly 40 pieces of artwork donated by Seacoast artists will be up for bid during a live auction at the Kingston Community Library on Sunday, October 16, from 12-2pm. A brunch proceeds the auction at 10:30am.

The auction was the idea of Hampstead artist Dannielle Genovese. She owns Wolf Spirit Art Studios in Hampstead and has been painting since her retirement from teaching at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston in 2001.

She was trying to come up with a charitable way to use the artwork she was clearing out of her home. Skyrocketing heating costs came to mind, and the veterans potentially having to choose between food and heat.

Electric rates will continue to climb, with another increase coming in December. Oil analyst Tom Kloza advised in September to lock in prices now, as they will likely only go up as winter gets closer.

“At that time, the headlines came out about what heating fuel was going to cost, and I was horrified and I thought, ‘Who can afford that with a fixed income?’ I think the need will be tremendous,” Genovese said.

She found support from the Seacoast Artist Association and the Kingston Community Library.

“Our name is the Kingston Community Library, so we’re really happy to be doing something like this for the community The money is going to local people in need,” Kingston Community Library Director Melissa Mannon said. "This is the role a library can play in the community. We value books, but we also value art and creativity.”

Hampstead artist Michelle Baker hangs artwork to be auctioned off to benefit veterans
Hampstead artist Michelle Baker hangs artwork to be auctioned off to benefit veterans (Jason Schreiber )

New Hampshire non-profit Swim With A Mission, Inc., a New Hampshire-based 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for veteran service organizations, will work with the auction organizers to ensure that net proceeds from the brunch and auction benefit veterans needing help with their heating bills this winter.

You can make a donation, purchase tickets for the auction, and view images of all the auction artwork at kingston-library.org.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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