Shield of Athena's 25th annual art auction raises $90,000

From left, Shield board member Mark Grinberg, Fanis Mitronikas of the Greek consulate, who chooses the event’s paintings; co-host Eramelinda Boquer, Shield president Chris Ann Nakis and Shield of Athena executive director and founder Melpa Kamateros.

The Shield of Athena’s 25th annual art auction raised $90,000 during its Nov. 10 event at Thursday’s on Crescent Street.

The Shield of Athena offers services and shelter to victims of family violence and engages in community outreach in 12 languages.

The artwork of numerous Canadian artists were auctioned, as well as — new this year — the works of David Werner Feist from the Bauhaus School Of Art, “the single most influential modernist art school of the 20th century,” organizers pointed out.

The co-chairs of the event were Samantha Regimbal of What’s Up World and Gus Masoud, general manager of PurLift. The co-hosts were CJAD’s Eramelinda Boquer, marking her 20th year hosting the event, and international comedian Neil Janna.

Funds raised are going, in part, to the planned Second Step Resource in Laval, that will provide longer term housing, and numerous services, for single women or mothers with children after they leave an emergency shelter.

Shield of Athena executive director and founder Melpa Kamateros told The Suburban that a groundbreaking for the Second Step Resource is expected to take place next spring.

“We’re just finalizing, but a lot of the proceeds from today’s event are going to go for the renovation of our current shelter — more than 1,800 women and children have passed through its doors since 2004,” she explained.

“The [Second Step Resource] will be fantastic,” said Shield of Athena president Chris Ann Nakis. “The donations are coming in, the house will be built, the funds are on the side. We just need the final approval from the government.”

Boquer was very pleased to mark her two decades hosting and conducting the art auction.

“It’s been incredible, I’ve probably sold close to 1,000 paintings in 20 years,” she said. “I’m hoping for another 20 years with the Shield, because these women are extraordinary. The Shield is not just necessary, it’s critical.”

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