QUINCY — While Sunday's event was both an obvious and immediate success, the far-reaching impact likely will not be seen for years to come.
The second annual Follow Your heART fundraiser — coordinated by Arts Quincy — generated $12,000 that will be used to strengthen local schools' commitment to the arts.
A capacity crowd of 200 attended the event inside the Quincy Country Club.
"It's a big deal; it's investing in dreams," said Laura Sievert, executive director of Arts Quincy, the community arts council that dates to 1947.
Arts Quincy works to foster, strengthen and expand the performing arts in general.
The nonprofit organization also works hand-in-hand with the 17 public and parochial schools in Adams County to do the same.
"We can do so much good through a fundraiser like this," Sievert said. "I am profoundly grateful to this community."
The event showcased numerous tables of "brunch bites," featured live cake-decorating contest, floral design competition, assorted raffles and a silent auction.
Businesses that participated in the cake-decorating competition included Cakes by Karen, Hy-Vee Bakery on Harrison, Krazy Cakes, the Yum Factory and grand-prize winner Beth Kurfman of Underbrinks Bakery.
Karen Wagner, who owns and operates "Cakes by Karen," was excited to be part of what she feels is a worthwhile fundraiser. She also enjoyed the social aspect of such a gathering.
"I get to see people I know, and they get to see what I do," Wagner said.
Haley Kelso of Hy-Vee on Harrison felt right at home at the Arts Quincy event. Kelso has a strong background in music, but has refocused her artistic talents into the world of cake decorations.
"I never thought I would be doing (something like) this, but seeing the finished product is so rewarding," Kelso said.
The cake decorators had roughly one hour to create their cake-designing art.
"This friendly contest serves as an opportunity for competitors to showcase their talents and creativity, test their skills and step out of their comfort zones with new techniques," Sievert said.
Participants in the floral contest were County Market on 24th Street, Holtschlag Florist, Hy-Vee on Harrison, the Flower Girl of Quincy and Wellman Florist.
Robin Henehan of Flower Girl of Quincy was the grand-prize winner.
Providing principal sponsorship for this year's event were State Street Bank, The Herald-Whig and WGEM.
For more information on Arts Quincy, go to ArtsQuincy.org.