Sunday, July 2, 2006

Cheerful Givers To Feature Minnesota Artists and Musicians in April Fundraising Auction

Cheerful Givers To Feature Minnesota Artists and Musicians in April Fundraising Auction

Non-profit organization continues to celebrate children's lives with birthday gifts.

Eagan, MN (PRWEB) April 4, 2006

The mission of Cheerful Givers, a Minnesota-based organization, is a simple one: to brighten and celebrate the lives of families in need. Since 1994, it has been doing just that with toy-filled birthday gift bags for homeless or poverty-stricken children. In a state where, according to 2003 statistics, over half of the 351,000 residents living in poverty were children, the need is certainly great. Since its founding 12 years ago, Cheerful Givers has provided over 132,000 gift bags to food shelves and shelters for distribution to parents who would not otherwise be able to provide birthday gifts for their children.

The concept of Cheerful Givers came after a visit to a food shelf in 1993 by founder Robin Maynard, where she was stunned to learn that many parents would come by hoping to simply find a favorite cereal or canned vegetable to give their child for their birthday. She thought about what it must feel like for a parent to not be able to do what many parents take for granted: celebrate their child’s birthday. Recognizing an unmet need, she assembled a few bags filled with small gifts and dropped them off at a local shelter.

The compassion of one woman has evolved into an organization dedicated to reinforcing the self-esteem of both children and their parents with something as simple as a birthday gift – and the word is spreading. Cheerful Givers has been acclaimed in the "Your Life!" online magazine, Minnesota Monthly, and the March 2005 issue of People. It has been the only organization in Minnesota to receive a grant from the Women Helping Others Foundation in Dallas, and was selected for the State Priority Project for Minnesota Women for Today ’05-’06. In January 2006, it received the U. S. Congress Certificate of Recognition for its contribution to the Gulf Coast relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

To date, Cheerful Givers has distributed birthday bags to more than 130 shelters, food shelves and human services agencies in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It has held many successful fundraising and donation events, such as “Birthday Bag Blitzes,” including one “blitz” where 50 women from the Marketing Department of General Mills held a day-out meeting and filled over 1,000 bags in one hour.

In April 2006, Cheerful Givers will hold an online auction at (www. cheerfulgivers. org) featuring a variety of Minnesota-based artists and musicians:

Performance By Barb Ryman, Musician & Performing Artist

Barb Ryman is a nationally-touring, award winning singer/songwriter who delivers a rich mosaic of contemporary folk, country blues, Celtic flavored ballads, old-time gospel and bits of folk-rock in her music. Barb will perform 1-2 hours for your group in the Twin Cities area based on her availability. For samples of her music and her concert schedule, visit www. barbryman. com. Value of this auction is $300+.

Professional Karoke Show

David Ayes of Darque-Ayes Entertainment will host a Karoke show for any group event (private party, wedding, corporate, etc.). David has performed across the state of Minnesota and uses state-of-the-art equipment as well as a light show. He has been in business for over 10 years and has a library of over 20,000 songs.

David is willing to travel within 100 miles of Plymouth, MN. For more information visit http://www. myaffair. com/-/w/3155/ (http://www. myaffair. com/-/w/3155/). Value of this auction is $400-$1,000.

Jeff James, Singer/Songwriter Guitarist

Jeff James is a nationally accredited guitarist who has been entertaining a variety of audiences for years with over 2,500 performances and 5 albums. He draws from a song list of over 350 songs ranging from classic rock, country, blues, folk, and 60’s and 70’s tunes.

Jeff will provide entertainment for a small group of people or a large corporate event. To hear his music, visit www. jeffjamesmusic. com.

Leather Bag by Ann Ringness

Ann Ringness has been a leather artisan since 1974. Each piece she creates is hand cut to insure quality and longevity. To see samples of her work, visit www. annringness. com.

One-Of-A-Kind Bird Feeder

TAO & KO Artworks birdhomes and birdfeeders are individually crafted, one-of-a-kind, solidly built works of art. Each one is built with the birds and the environment in mind while being uniquely decorative, completely functional, and very long lasting. To see samples of their products, visit www. taoko. com.

For more information about these upcoming auctions, donating your own services or products for auction, or volunteering with Cheerful Givers, visit www. cheerfulgivers. org.

# # #