hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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March 21, 2012

Auction to help raise $100,000 for downtown mural

If a mural featuring the images of Haverhill celebrities is to become reality, organizers must raise $100,000 for the cause.

They will hold an auction to support the cause.

A "Wizard of Oz Live and Silent Auction Gala" will take place May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Roma Restaurant in Bradford. The event will include dinner, Spotlight Playhouse character actors, music from "The Wizard of Oz" and the Broadway hit musical "Wicked," and an auction.

"Our hope is to have a wide variety of items that appeals to a wide range of auction attendees," said Tim Jordan, co-chairman of the mural project.

The Team Haverhill volunteer civic group is behind the city's newest and largest scale public artwork project to date: A four-story mural on the wall of 25 Essex St. The Essex Street Gateway Mural, named "Hues of the Heart'' after the John Greenleaf Whittier poem, will feature notable people and images from Haverhill's past and present, while leaving room for its future.

Jordan said the mural project will cost more than $100,000, and that Team Haverhill hopes to raise the final $20,000 through the auction. All money for the project is coming from donations and fundraisers.

Auction items include a Mojito-making class with appetizers and chocolate fondue for 10 people (valued at $500), donated by Evenfall Restaurant; a private wine tasting at the top bidder's home that includes a case of white wines and a case of red wine and a bartender for up to 30 people, donated by Butlers and Bars; a foursome of golf including two carts, donated by the Bradford Country Club.

Jordan said TV celebrity Tom Bergeron and internationally-known shoe designer Stuart Weitzman are also donating items for the auction.

The 3,000-square-foot mural is being created by nationally-known artist Meg Saligman of Philadelphia. The mural will consist of 50 3-by-4-foot panels. About 15 of the panels were painted last year by community volunteers using a paint-by-numbers system. The mural will be mounted to the wall of the building beginning April 23 and should be completed by June 14.

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