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RHA Howell Care Centers

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"The Space" Donates Original Works to Art Auction/Dinner to the Triad's Citizens with Developmental Disabilities

Greensboro, NC, October 25, 2007 --( The Space art gallery in Greensboro has donated four original works by two area artists to the “Spaghetti Auction,” an dinner/art auction fundraiser to benefit the children and adults of Gatewood Center and the Greensboro and Thomasville group homes for the severely disabled. The event will be held Monday, November 5, at Café Pasta Grille on State Street from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

The Space, located at 340 Tate Street, is “an organization of volunteers whose goals are to provide access to and support for the arts,” according to director Jaime Coggins. “It is a public space for artists to exhibit, network and exchange ideas.”

Affiliated artist Erik Strom will be represented at the auction with “Passing Down His Story” and “The Embrace.” Affiliated artist Charlotte Chipman-Strom” donated pieces are entitled “Field of Bright Dreams” and “Strength.”

Other artists who have donated works for the auction include Bob Timberlake, Dempsey Essick and Clark Hipolito, as well as Gatewood Center’s own potters.

Gatewood and the group homes are part of the RHA Howell Care Centers network of residential facilities across the state. The organization began in 1970 when Irene Howell founded the state’s first intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded in LaGrange, NC, because she couldn’t find what she felt was adequate care for her grandson. As demand for the high level of care and training she provided to infants and young children grew, she established a network of programs across the state to extend support both geographically and over a wider age span. Today, residential and non-residential programs, which support infants to adults, are in Polkton, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Goldsboro, New Bern, and Winston-Salem.

When Irene Howell retired, she turned her legacy over to RHA Health Services, which she felt shared her compassion for people with disabilities and could offer a wide array of programs and therapy to enhance their quality of life.

That quality is threatened now by inadequate public funding, according to Mark Spano, director of funds development. “We have functioned nearly 30 years without active fundraising and development programs. That is an incredible achievement,” he said. “But the landscape has changed and public funding just will not be enough for us to continue the quality of care, offer competitive pay, and make the needed capital improvements in an organization that serves so many so well.”

The residential and non-residential programs, including those in the Triad area, are now vulnerable to unexpected expenses, the cost of much-need improvements to old buildings, and the rising cost of recruiting and retaining qualified care teams, he added, which is why RHA Howell is launching a series of community-based fundraisers, beginning with the “Spaghetti Auction” in downtown Greensboro. The all-day event includes take-out lunches from Café Pasta Grille from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the dinner/auction from 5-9 p.m., which will also feature live jazz entertainment and a cash bar.

Tickets are $12 for take-out lunches and $25 for the evening event. Tickets to both can be purchased online at (click on the icon on page one) or by calling 919-941-0530.

Contact Information
RHA Howell Care Centers
Kim Weiss, blueplate pr
Debbie Valentine

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