QUINCY -- Years from now, what transpired Sunday may be recognized as a landmark event.
The inaugural Follow Your HeART brunch at the Quincy Country Club laid what promises to be an important foundation for the continued growth of arts in Adams County, specifically among young people.
The Arts Quincy fundraiser, which attracted a room-capacity 175 enthusiasts, generated between $10,000 and $12,000 that will be used to strengthen local schools' commitment to the arts through the Instant Arts Classroom Funds program.
"These funds will benefit 17 schools in the county, both public and parochial," said Laura Sievert, third-year executive director of Arts Quincy. "This will help pay for art classes, field trips ... and help allow teachers to choose what best fits their curriculum(s).
"The (result of this) will hit all parts of the county."
Sievert estimated the money raised Sunday will touch up to 7,500 students.
The 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. event showcased numerous tables of "brunch bites," featured a live cake-decorating contest, assorted raffles and a silent auction.
Rachael Bangert of Quincy, who decorates cakes at the Hy-Vee supermarket on Harrison, was admittedly in her element.
"I've always been drawn to art," she said. "If I'm not creating, I'm kind of sad."
Bangert said she has been a life-long lover of the arts and especially enjoys photography.
"I just like being artsy," she said.
Marcel Wagner, who serves as president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation, emphasized that the arts are an integral component to the success of any community.
"The arts help sell a community, and supporting them is a good thing," he said. "The arts make a community stronger."
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore reminded that Quincy was the home to the nation's first arts council.
"It's great to see so many support an event like this, which will help carry on the strong tradition of the arts in our community," Moore said.
Providing support for Sunday's event were State Street Bank, The Herald-Whig and WGEM. For more information on Arts Quincy, whose goal is to increase access to public art, culture and entertainment, visit ArtsQuincy.org.