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Art raises money

TICONDEROGA - The downtown Ticonderoga street art project has generated tangible results.

An auction of the 32 decorated wooden soldiers that stood guard in the community this summer raised $5,000 for new lighting at the Liberty Monument.

More than 60 people turned out for auction at Adam's Rib Sept. 30 when the soldiers and four other pieces of donated artwork were put up for auction by the Ticonderoga Montcalm Street Partnership.

"Throughout the evening, the excitement level was high as those in attendance spent the cocktail hour viewing the unique one of a kind works of art lined up along the walls, beckoning the highest bidders," said Sue Rathbun, chairwoman of Ticonderoga Montcalm Street Partnership. "During the preview, all were treated to delicious appetizers provided by Darren Geiser, owner-chef of Adam's Rib, while listening to upbeat guitar and vocal music graciously donated by Nelson Shapiro, Ticonderoga's well-known music teacher."

Rick Harker served as auctioneer.

The first item to go to bid was a beautiful 24 x 36-inch canvas wrapped color print donated by Rich Timberlake, photographer, who has a summer home on Lake George. The winning bid was $410, setting the bar for things to come.

The first soldier auctioned was created by Ticonderoga Elementary School students, bringing a high bid of $200. It will be returned to the school as a tribute to Riley Knight, who helped paint the soldier last spring before he took ill.

Several other bidders followed suit, winning the highest bid to return a soldier to the middle school, high school, senior center, library, country club, Fort Ticonderoga and various businesses.

Bids ranged from $50 to $500 per item, with the average bid running close to $160.

All proceeds will go to the Ticonderoga Montcalm Street Partnership's main street improvement goals as outlined in the 2009 streetscape plan prepared by Elan Planners of Saratoga for TMSP and the community. The partnership's priority project remaining for 2010 is to get the lights back on the Liberty Monument, estimated at a cost of $7,000.

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