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Art for Keith

Saturday, 8th April, 2017

Publican Steve Sliwka with Keith Gander and some of the items to be auctioned at the Old Royal on Sunday. PICTURE: Boris Hlavica Publican Steve Sliwka with Keith Gander and some of the items to be auctioned at the Old Royal on Sunday. PICTURE: Boris Hlavica

By Kara de Groot

An art charity auction for a local teenager will be held tomorrow at the Old Royal Hotel.

Eighteen-year-old Keith Gander fell from playground equipment and suffered severe spinal damage just before Christmas last year, and was rushed to Adelaide for surgery.

He’s back home now in a wheelchair, and funds raised at the auction will go towards home accessibility improvements and a car with hand controls.

“The modifications are about seven to eight thousand dollars to buy and then it has to be installed,” Keith’s mum Alison said.

“The vehicle especially is really important to keep Keith independent,” she said.

“Some of it the HACC and others have helped out with, but there’s still a lot to do.”

Alison said that she didn’t realise just how many home modifications were required to help people in wheelchairs maintain their independence.

“You can’t easily reach into a top-loading washing machine in a wheelchair, so we need to get a front loader,” she said.

“There’s so many easy things that you don’t think about that are hard for people in a wheelchair.”

As yesterday more than 50 artworks had been donated to the auction, including some from household names such as Howard Steer, Jack Absolam, John Dynon and Badger Bates.

One of the organisers, Kathy Graham, said she hopes the public will support the auction and see some of the beautiful art available.

The afternoon will begin with a BBQ lunch provided by the Old Royal for a gold coin donation.

Bidding will start at 3pm, although bids via the Facebook page, ‘Get Keith Rolling’, are accepted up until the start of the auction.

“I want to thank all the artists who have contributed,” said Alison Gander. “They are many and varied... artworks, mosaics, mixed media, and other things, as well as raffle prizes, so thank you.

“Also just a heartfelt thanks to everyone for contributing and helping, including Beth and Len, Kathy, and Boris,” she said.

“They and our family have helped out and been really supportive and I’d be a mess without them.”

To donate items, text or phone Boris Havlica (0411 616 235), Kathy Graham (0427 798 811), or Beth Murray-Wilson (0411 959 063) and they will be happy to collect.

You can also donate directly through the Credit Union: Bank details are BSB 802 377, account 3773 7974, account name Keith Gander.

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