Wake Forest students organize art auction to fight poverty

By Pam Barrett
March 15, 2006

Students Working Against Poverty (SWAP), a new organization formed by Wake Forest University students, and two Wake Forest art students, Bailey Reue and Sarah Foley, will raise funds for the hungry at START (Student Art), an art auction at 7 p.m. April 7 at the Downtown Arts District Association Community Center during Winston-Salem's Gallery Hop.

The event is the organization's first major fundraising and awareness event. It will feature a silent auction and reception. A variety of artwork, including prints, paintings, photographs and drawings, has been donated by students from Wake Forest, Salem College and the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Auction proceeds will go to Crisis Control Ministry in Winston-Salem. Donations will also be accepted.

Wake Forest juniors Melissa Price and Drew Crofton founded SWAP after witnessing the extent of poverty while on trips overseas. "Although many Wake Forest students volunteer with the needy or are concerned with poverty issues, no group existed on campus to promote awareness and unite students in order to have a big impact on poverty," Price said. "We hope that SWAP will fulfill this important niche and provide a resource and support system for students."

Price and Crofton plan to hold an event each year to raise funds for different hunger relief organizations. "We are starting with fighting poverty locally, but our goal is to broaden our efforts nationally," Crofton said. "In the future, we hope to make an impact internationally."

The auction marks the first time that Wake Forest will be part of the Gallery Hop. According to Kylie Duff, a Wake Forest junior and public relations chair for SWAP, the students are excited to be pioneering this involvement. "Winston-Salem is doing so much to enhance the arts district and help revitalize the downtown area. We are excited not only to be a part of that, but also to be doing something that really can make a difference," Duff said.

For more information about the auction, call Melissa Price at (336) 692-3579.