West Chester, Pa.-- United Way of Chester County welcomed back world renowned artist/painter Michael Israel for an encore fundraiser performance on 9-11, at Penn Oaks Golf Club. The Live United in Colour 2 event presented by Citadel, featured oversized paintings created live on stage to be auctioned at the end of the evening. Israel painted every way but right side up, accompanied by a rock concert multimedia show with video, music, lights and pure drama. He painted five larger than life masterpieces, each in under ten minutes, revealing the final image with a spin of his easel to a sold out crowd of over 270 guests. His final piece was a rare performance of his Hero painting, depicting a firefighter carrying a young child, never performed before on the anniversary of 9-11.
A special tribute dedication sponsored by Di and Dallas Krapf, kicked off Israel’s show in honor of Chester County first responders. Penny Knotts, Chester County EMS Council; Ray Stackhouse, Chester County Fire Chiefs Association President; and Brian Sheller, Chester County Police Chiefs Association President, were joined on stage by United Way of Chester County Board President Al Rundle, and Chester County Commissioners Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell. National recording artist Katelyn Rose sang “Hero” by Mariah Carey followed by the unveiling of Israel’s one-of-a-kind painting which will have a permanent home in the new Chester County Public Safety Training Center in Coatesville. The painting features a firefighter, police officer and emergency services first responder raising the American Flag- a tribute to the photo seen around the world of the three heroic firefighters who raised the banner on September 11, 2001.
Citadel Senior Vice President, Michael Schnably, added, “We’re fortunate to have such a unique event here in Chester County. Imagine being able to simultaneously show our genuine appreciation for our local public service heroes and also having such a thoroughly enjoyable event as an evening with Michael Israel.”
The evening began with a VIP Meet & Greet cocktail hour on the Penn Oaks Tuscan patio and photo op with the artist in front of a step-and-repeat Hollywood backdrop. Penn Oaks Golf Club, the event host sponsor, rolled out the red carpet for United Way donors, sponsors and VIP’s, including 5 star food, service, and hospitality. Guests were escorted to the Grand Ballroom for a sit down dinner with entertainment by Chester County native, Katelyn Rose, who recently won a singing competition and a national recording contract with Wright Entertainment Group. The night culminated outdoors in the performance tent with Michael Israel’s emotional and energy-charged performance. Lexus of Chester Springs SUV’s transported guests back to their cars in luxury, standing by all night. Lexus, CCRES, and CertainTeed shared lead sponsorship for the event. United Way of Chester County Board President, Al Rundle, remarked, “It was great to see our community come out to support the important work of the United Way of Chester County. I saw so many new faces which gives me confidence in the future and the prosperity of our communities.”
The show concluded with a professional auctioneer pairing the paintings with the highest bidders to benefit the United Way of Chester County’s Community Investment Fund. The fund is used to invest in more than 70 programs run by 50 Chester County non-profits that focus on the areas of education, health and financial independence. “Everyone from our corporate sponsors and in-kind partners to auction winners and ticket buyers had a part in the evening’s success. What we do wouldn’t be possible without every person in this room tonight,” said United Way of Chester County CEO, Claudia Hellebush.
World renowned artist Michael Israel unveils a one-of-a-kind painting in dedication of Chester County public safety heroes to be permanently housed in the new Chester County Public Safety Training Center in Coatesville. Left to Right: Brian Sheller, Chester County Police Chiefs Association President; Ray Stackhouse, Chester County Fire Chiefs Association President; and Penny Knotts, Chester County EMS Council.
Photo Credit: Greg Zeller Custom Photography
Featured artist, Michael Israel, surprised the audience with a variety of paintings from patriotic themes to his famous “Hero” painting of a firefighter carrying a small child. Paintings were auctioned off to benefit United Way of Chester County as part of the Live United in Colour 2 event held on September 11th, at Penn Oaks Golf Club.
During a VIP Reception and Meet & Greet, guests could pose for a picture with Live United in Colour 2 celebrity artists Michael Israel, internationally acclaimed painter, and Katelyn Rose, national recording artist/singer.
Photo Credit: Greg Zeller Custom Photography