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Ligonier area artisans participate in disaster relief efforts

| Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 1:48 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
LIGONIER KEEPSAKE Kayla Tamer, executive assistant for the Ligonier Chamber of Commerce, hangs the 30th anniversary ornament on the chamber tree.

Local business owners and residents are participating in disaster relief efforts for the Philippines after the devastation caused recently by Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda).

Several thousand Philippine residents perished when the second deadliest Philippine typhoon on record hit the island country earlier this month.

“I have family back there on my mother's side,” said Andrew Thornton, creative director and co-owner of Allegory Galley. “Some of them lost their homes and are without electricity or fresh water. It's sad to think that over 2,500 people have been counted as dead and 673,000 people have been displaced. That's like the entire population of Ligonier perished and the entire population of Pittsburgh had to evacuate — twice over.”

Thornton and the shop's other co-owner, William Jones, are currently raising money for the disaster relief effort in a number of ways.

From now through Dec. 5, a percentage of Allegory Gallery sales will be donated to charity.

Money raised will go to CARE, an organization that works in 84 countries around the world to support nearly 1,000 poverty-fighting development and emergency projects, and a contribution will be made to the Association of Bantayanons in America Inc.

Thornton and Jones are also taking part in an Artists for Disaster Relief raffle. Artists around the country are offering an eclectic mix of art and jewelry that support the cause and also make great gifts or mementos of support to the typhoon victims.

Winners of the Allegory Gallery raffle will receive a selection of art, beads and jewelry. Winners will be selected on Dec. 5.

Tillie & Rose photographers, Jen Palmer of Bolivar, and Barbara Jones and Andria Zutich, of Robinson, have donated a photo session for the raffle. Valued at $100, the session will take place on location locally and include all the finalized, digital images.

“We wanted to help in the best way we could,” Palmer said.

Connie Parsons and several other local artisans are participating by donating handmade crafted items for the raffle.

Tickets are $1 each and can be purchased at the gallery or online at: allegorygallery.bigcartel.com/product/disaster-relief-raffle-tickets.

Thornton's sister, artist Sheila Thornton, of Venice, Fla., is also donating a percentage of the sales from painting on her website (www.sheilathornton.com). She will also be contributing a painting of the bandstand on the Diamond, valued at $300, to Allegory Gallery for the raffle.

Sheila Thornton recently returned from a trip to the Philippines where she completed en plein air landscapes. She will be donating all proceeds from print sales to CARE (www.imagekind.com/artists/SheilaThorntonFineArt/PhilippinesPaintingsTyphoonHaiyanYolandaRelief/fine-art-prints.)

“It's important to support this effort because the cause is worthy,” Sheila said. “Typhoon Haiyan is one of the worst storms on record and the amount of suffering, devastation and loss of life is astounding.”

Thornton and Jones will play host to a blog hop of silent auctions to raise funds for disaster relief. This effort will allow for individual contributors to auction off one or more pieces of their work by listing it online. Those who wish to participate should email Andrew Thornton at: ardenttie@yahoo.com.

Unique pieces made with materials from the Philippines will be featured at Allegory Gallery for the month of December. The jewelry, made by Thornton, will use a mix of tropical woods, horn, natural fibers and decoupage wooden beads. The materials come from the studio of Precy Mansueto-Marban, President of the Association of Bantayanons in America, Inc.

“I feel that in times like these, we have to support the businesses that have been affected by this great tragedy and her factory in the Philippines was destroyed,” said Thornton. “The proceeds of all the pieces sold will go towards the disaster relief effort.”

Thornton encourages others to participate by hosting an auction on their blog, donating an item to be raffled, buying raffle tickets and simply promoting the fundraising efforts on social media sites.

“We are a resilient people,” said Mansueto-Marban, “Like the mighty bamboo — we will survive.”

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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