Teen organizes art auction to help sick children

Students, patients create for the cause
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Placer Herald and Press Tribune editor
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Natomas Charter School senior Sarah LaFontaine spent last Saturday under the sun in Granite Bay, where she coordinated an art auction to raise money for Shriners Hospital for children.

LaFontaine, 17, lives in Jackson, but her father, Justin Brach, works at Paramount Solar in Granite Bay. The art auction was held there over the weekend, with a VIP event Friday night and a public auction Saturday.

The art was created by students from LaFontaine’s school and other area schools, and from children battling illness in area hospitals. One colorful painting was created by a boy named Jorge who uses his chin to push the brush, as he has no arms.

LaFontaine said she was inspired to help sick children becausew hen her sister Sera was 3, she underwent treatment for a brain tumor at a children’s hospital in Denver. Sera, now 10, is healthy.

“It’s a blessing that she is able to be a normal kid,” LaFontaine said.

“Sarah has worked tirelessly to bring this art auction to fruition, helping the patients of Shriners Hospital,” said Tanya Hall,training manager at Paramount Solar, who helped LaFontaine organize the auction. “She is such a remarkable and resourceful young lady, bringing the community together like this for such a great cause. Her selfless dedication to help other children in need is amazing to see in someone her age. Paramount Solar is proud to be a part of helping her initiatives.”

By 2 p.m. Saturday, LaFontaine had bids on nearly all 57 pieces of art.LaFontaine said organizing the auction made her more aware of how much art therapy can helping ill children, and inspired her even more to give back to those who helped save her sister.

“It just really made me want to help them more, and do everything I can to make sure they get taken care of and get the procedures that they need,” she said.