WICHITA, Kan. – (October 26, 2009) – With a one-two punch, ArtAID 16 knocked out past records to raise a whopping $92,000 during the 16th year of this event. This brings the total raised over ArtAID’s history to over $1.1 million. More than 1,500 people filled the historic Cotillion Ballroom to standing room only capacity, with reserved tables selling out in record time. Bidding heroically on live and silent auctions, this enthusiastic crowd surpassed all past art sales by 33 percent. This fundraiser benefits Positive Directions, a Wichita organization that helps people living in the community with HIV and AIDS by supplying support, housing, and food. “We keep hearing about people cutting back and supporting less,” said Cody Patton, director of Positive Directions. “From the art sales and attendance we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. The community support is incredible.”
For 16 years Planet Hair, a hair salon in Wichita’s Old Town historic district, has organized ArtAID with other local sponsors. Proceeds come from ticket sales and a live and silent auction of art donated from local artists and collectors. A fashion/variety show featured models showcasing fashions from local businesses Aspen Boutique, Section 37, and costumes, hair and makeup by Planet Hair. Special guest choreographer, Joshua Carlson and dancer Jillian Smalley from Las Vegas, NV and dancers from Wichita’s Care to Dance, Park City Omega All-Stars, Skywalkers Gymnastics and National Elite Trampolinist Josh Wright amazed the crowd with high-flying dance numbers. The evening ended with dancing, with music provided by The Naughty Astronauts in one of their final performances. Others supporting this year’s event were the Greteman Group – A Branding Agency, KMUW 89.1, The CW Kansas, 104.5 The Fox, and Bud Light.
This event began in 1993 after Planet Hair co-owner Tod Ernst began volunteering to give haircuts to local HIV and AIDS patients. Amazed at the success of the first ArtAID, which started with a few hors d’oeuvres and a little fashion show at a local nightclub, Planet Hair was urged to make it an annual event and more organizations have chipped in each year
Planet Hair, 504 East Douglas, is a full service salon located in the heart of Old Town. Partners Tod Ernst and Graham Ross lead a team of 19 in providing a full range of services, including hair coloring, hair cuts, make-up, nail services, and hair extensions.