By Carol Christian
“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others”…Mahatma Ghandi. No truer words could describe one of the leaders of the project to build the Grand Forks Children’s Museum, Sally Miskavige.
When I first met Sally, I knew I had met someone special. Kind, confident, driven, and caring – that was my first impression. Then through mutual desire to support the Grand Forks Children’s Museum, I have gotten to know Sally Miskavige at a different level. I truly stand in awe. Today I share one of the most gracious acts of kindness and service… Sally’s longtime commitment to The Art of Giving (TAG).
What started in college to raise money for breast cancer research at Altru, has morphed into so much more. It started with ‘wine and cheese’ as a fundraising event, initially generating $1000 for cancer research, which was doubled by Sally’s generous father into $2000. This annual event quickly progressed to add art to the mix and was soon moved from Sally’s college house to her garage. Sally enlisted friends and family to hang art in her garage to try sell art and raise money. In subsequent years, the event has grown larger and more successful each year as well as moved from location to location.
Once art was added, the stakes increased exponentially. In total over the years, over $1.3 million in art has been sold and so far, it’s raised $350,000 for different Grand Forks charities. Some of the many benefactors include breast cancer research, the purchase of an Omni bed at Altru’s NICU, targeted and specific needs in the community including health-focused necessities at Altru, as well as supporting many local charities. This year the proceeds will benefit the Grand Forks Children’s Museum project. Note that all sales benefit the artist as well as the charity.
Sally humbly credits many friends and family that have helped her along the way, including her late uncle Jay Cox, Jason Restemayer, Katie Bergner and her mom Merilee Brown, Adam Kemp, Jessie Thorson, her parents Greg and Susie Opp, and so many friends and associates that have helped along the way. Clearly, charity and philanthropy begin at home and Sally, her husband Jeremy and their children work together along with countless others to make this event successful each year.
This year, the Art of Giving’s annual event is on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 5:30p-9:00p at the Grand Forks Curling Club. It will feature over 450 pieces of art including paintings, sculptures, unique artistic furnishings…all by local artists. This year’s event will be the largest offering of art to date for the Art of Giving.
“There could be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others”…George HW Bush.
Sally, my friend, you have created a successful life. Be proud.