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Terra cotta warriors auctioned off for charity

Jerry Whitehead polished a terra cotta warrior Thursday morning at Continental Seafood Restaurant. The painted sculpture, one of 34, was later auctioned off for charity.  - Matthew Hoekstra photo
Jerry Whitehead polished a terra cotta warrior Thursday morning at Continental Seafood Restaurant. The painted sculpture, one of 34, was later auctioned off for charity.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra photo

Continental Seafood Restaurant hosted 34 colourful customers Thursday, but instead of sampling the steamed shrimp dumplings they just stared.

They made a good impression nonetheless, as all were auctioned off as a fundraiser for the B.C. Lions Society’s Easter Seals services for children with disabilities.

The Cambie Road eatery’s special guests were terra cotta warriors, sculptures that made their debut throughout Richmond and Vancouver in April. Each is painted by a local artist—similar to past fundraising projects involving orcas, bears and eagles.

The B.C. Lions Society expected to raise at least $100,000 at the Thursday night auction, said president Stephen Miller.

“It’s been absolutely wonderful,” he said of the public art exhibition. “We’ve heard really great feedback from tourists and local residents.”

The sculptures have attracted plenty of attention. In Richmond, warriors were placed in 11 locations, including malls, the Richmond Cultural Centre, Richmond Chamber of Commerce and River Rock Casino Resort.

One sculpture, painted by Richmond artist Jeanette Jarville, even found itself out-of-province—in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Based on the society’s previous auctions, most of the works will find new homes in private residences and businesses.

“They’ve ended up all over the world,” said Miller. “We’ve shipping them everywhere, so we know we have collectors around the world.”

The society’s Easter Seals houses provide over 34,000 bed nights a year to B.C. families with children with disabilities at a highly subsidized rate. Its camping program is free to young participants, who number 1,000 each summer.

Said Miller: “It makes a tremendous difference to the kids and their families.”

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