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Farnham Rocks The Arts At Fundraising Event

Staff Report

OSWEGO, NY – Farnham Family Services rocked the arts recently at its annual fundraising event at the American Foundry in Oswego.

Joanna Jewett sings with guitarist Kris Heels at the recent Farnham Unplugged: Rock The Arts Fundraising Event at the American Foundry in Oswego. Jewett was one of five musicians that donated their musical talents for the annual Farnham Family Services benefit.
Joanna Jewett sings with guitarist Kris Heels at the recent Farnham Unplugged: Rock The Arts Fundraising Event at the American Foundry in Oswego. Jewett was one of five musicians that donated their musical talents for the annual Farnham Family Services benefit.

Approximately 175 people attended Farnham Unplugged: Rock The Arts, in support of the Oswego-based non-profit organization’s mission to offer prevention services, school-based student assistance, and treatment services to all residents of Oswego and surrounding counties.

An estimated $15,000 was raised at the annual benefit that included five musicians/bands, food and a silent art auction.

“The idea for this event was to feature local artists in a venue that would in turn help support and bring attention to Farnham’s services,” said Jeanne Unger, executive director of Farnham Family Services. “We brought in local performers and visual artists who donated their time and/or pieces of art. And, the feedback that we received throughout the evening and after the event was amazing.”

“We were thrilled with the turnout, and the enthusiasm that was felt within the room throughout the night,” she added.

More than 70 pieces of artwork, photography, sculptures and other items were donated by regional artisans for the Farnham Unplugged: Rock The Arts silent art auction.
More than 70 pieces of artwork, photography, sculptures and other items were donated by regional artisans for the Farnham Unplugged: Rock The Arts silent art auction.

Local elementary school teacher Robyn Tryon attended the event with her husband, Dan, and participated in the silent auction.

“My husband and I were fortunate to be a part of the evening and we knew the ticket proceeds were going to benefit a worthy cause,” Tryon said. “We spent time with friends, discovered quite a few local artists, enjoyed a variety of local musicians, and most importantly were reminded of the services Farnham provides the families of Oswego.”

Another attendee, Diane Cooper-Currier, serves as the executive director of Oswego County Opportunities, a local community action agency.

“With the looming state budget crisis and its possible negative impact on community services such as those provided by Farnham, it is more important than ever for the community to support events like this to help raise funds,” Cooper-Currier said. “The dollars raised through these efforts, will ensure services will continue to be available for Oswego County’s most vulnerable citizens. Programs offered through Farnham Family Services help keep individuals and families healthy, productive and contributing members of this community.”

Proceeds from the Farnham Unplugged event went toward the Changing Lives Campaign Appeal.

The agency’s goal of $50,000 for 2008-09 will help provide direct funding for Farnham’s student assistance programs and youth development.

Oswego Health Associate Administrator for Behavioral Services Kim Garrow is a Farnham board member, and was also an attendee at the event.

“I have been on the board of Farnham for close to a year and I am very impressed with the level of service provided, as well as the focus on family and changing lives as their mission states,” Garrow said. “The money received for the services provided does not always cover the costs of providing the service.  Therefore fundraising is necessary for non-profits to breakeven. The community support shows the confidence that is there for those services.”

Farnham Family Services’ annual fundraising events in the past have included authors Christopher Kennedy Lawford and William Cope Moyers, who spoke about their dependencies on drugs and/or alcohol.

Farnham also just recently held its inaugural Farnham Family Fun Night at the Oswego Speedway in August, which attracted an estimated 250 children and families.

According to Unger, Farnham continues to call on individuals, businesses, and corporate partners, to help their non-profit organization “change lives” in the Central New York community.

“Farnham Family Services has provided so much to the families of Oswego and surrounding counties throughout our history,” Unger said. “And we hope to continue that mission for many more years to come with the help of this community.”

A variety of treats provided by The Creative Gourmet awaited those who attended Farnham's Rock the Arts.
A variety of treats provided by The Creative Gourmet awaited those who attended Farnham

Unger expressed gratitude to the various sponsors of the event including: Pathfinder Bank, Alliance Bank, Nucor Steel, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, and Empower Federal Credit Union.

She also commended the artists who donated their time and art work to the event including performers Gypsy Red, Dave Wolever, Joanna Jewett, John Bletch and the Predators, and N. Riley Heagerty.

According to Unger there were more than 70 pieces of artwork donated by artists from throughout Central New York for the silent art auction.

“It was truly a great evening,” Unger continued. “And, we look forward to next year’s second annual Farnham Unplugged event with a variety of new musicians and artists.”

Established in 1971, Farnham Family Services is a United Way agency that offers prevention services, school-based student assistance and treatment services to all residents of Oswego and surrounding counties.

All services are licensed by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Farnham’s professionally certified staff is comprised of competent and skillful individuals who are continually updated with training through conferences and workshops.

Families or individuals interested in learning more about Farnham Family Services can call (315) 342-4489 or visit www.farnhaminc.org