United Way Art Auction

Welcome to the

United Way Virtual Art Auction

September 1 - 17

Karen Meredith, a United Way donor and volunteer, is also an award-winning oil and watercolor artist and generously gifted 60 pieces of art to United Way of Chatham County for a virtual auction fundraiser! The collection features works by Meredith as well as her father, Maurice LaReau. You can read more about why Meredith decided to offer this gift to United Way by scrolling to the bottom of the page. 


The online art auction will be held Wednesday, September 1 through Friday, September 17. Items will go live September 1, and to place a bid or purchase are you must create a login account with the United Way auction website. There are a few ways to purchase the art:

  1. Items will be awarded to the highest bidders on the last day of the auction – Friday, September 17 – at 5 p.m.
    • If you are outbid on an item you will receive an email notification – be sure to check your spam folder.
  2. There is a “Buy Now” option – items can be purchased immediately if offered the value, which has been set by Karen Meredith. 

Art pickup information will be emailed to you at the close of the auction. You have the option to pick up from Meredith’s home Wednesday, September 22, or pick up at the United Way office in Pittsboro at a later date. 

100% of all proceeds will benefit United Way of Chatham County. If you are unable to participate in the art auction, or are bidding and would like to make an additional contribution to United Way, you can make a donation by CLICKING HERE


Karen Meredith

Maurice LaReau

Over the years Meredith’s art has been showcased in more than 50 invited solo and juried shows around the country.  Meredith is primarily self-taught, and has engaged in workshops with a large number of internationally-known artists.  

Meredith works mostly with oil and watercolor and draws inspiration from light and color: “It is their dynamic interplay that creates beauty and interest in my visual world,” said Meredith. “I find my favorite images outdoors, either in sunlit spaces or moody shadows. I approach each canvas as a new challenge to capture this fleeting experience.”

Click here to visit Meredith’s website.

LaReau was an accomplished artist, graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, and teaching at Brown University, Pomfret Art School, and the Ft Lauderdale Institute. LaReau spent summers in Provincetown studying with well-known artists, such as Hans Hoffman. 

Like Meredith, LaReau was also inspired by the outdoors and travels. He won numerous awards and held more than 10 exhibitions. He also served as the art critic for the Fort Lauderdale News/Sun-Sentinel for 12 years. 

Reasons to Donate to United Way

Written by Karen Meredith

I have decided to put these works up for sale with ALL proceeds going to United Way of Chatham County. My reason for selecting this agency is fivefold:

  1. I had the honor of serving on a grant review panel this spring and was extremely impressed with the professionalism of their process. I told them that it was as organized as any experience I had working for various Federal agencies.
  1. United Way of Chatham County funding serves one in three Chatham residents. The need is deep in our community, which may come as a surprise to many. With pockets of affluence in this county, it is easy to forget that there are also pockets of great poverty. In some western corners of Chatham County, the nearly 40% of families live below the federal poverty level. This means, 40% of four-person families right here in some portions of Chatham County earn less than $27,000 annually.
  1. I feel that their limited funds were being directed to the most important projects and capable programs. By using United Way as an oversight organization, they are acutely aware of the needs of County. They can ensure that there is limited overlap of efforts and maximum collaboration with other agencies in the area. They are able to “vet” these agencies before giving them money. They also expect measurable outcomes from grantees.
  1. United Way of Chatham County has a very capable but extremely small staff with minimum overhead costs. Its board has strong leadership with wide expertise.
  1. It has a track record of serving the neediest in that community. For 36 years the United Way in Chatham County has supported many local nonprofits delivering service to meet the most critical needs. This year their support of 23 programs will provide the following to our community: food, housing assistance, job and workplace skills training, support for sexual assault and domestic violence victims, increased access to health care resources, early childhood care and education opportunities. In total, United Way funded programs will impact 37,813 lives in the next twelve months.
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