Three heart sculptures depicting “Conserving the Heart of Idaho” were auctioned off February 11.

It was an evening of chocolates, whiskey, good conversations and mingling while overlooking the wintry expanse of Payette Lake from the Shore Lodge’s Upper Pavilion. However, the stars of this Valentine event were not stars, but hearts. Three sculptures by local artists were auctioned during the event; The BIG HEART, “Stella,” by Colleen Hanley Prior, and two tabletop hearts by McCall Donnelly High School Seniors; “Fresh Outta Water,” by Claire Warren and “I Hold You Close,” by Amy Ruiz.

“Payette Land Trust’s inaugural SweetHEART Party & Auction was a huge success. It was a fantastic community event which brought out 115 people to celebrate private land conservation in our region,” said PLT Board Member and SweetHEART Party & Auction co-chair, Jennifer Duplisea. Overall close to $40,000 was raised for PLT.

Michael Eck, who originally championed the idea for the BIG HEART and the SweetHEART Party & Auction credited Hanley Prior with helping make the project such a success. “Colleen really went above and beyond, not only because of her phenomenal artwork, but her continued passion for the project and her involvement with the community and school.” A portion of the proceeds of the three heart sales went to the artists to continue their art endeavors.

Suzanne Paisley and Charles Jones of McCall captured the BIG HEART by Colleen Hanley Prior, Amy Ruiz’ heart was acquired by Hotel McCall, and Claire Warren’s heart went to Jennifer Duplisea of McCall. The hearts brought in a total of $11,000.

Check out the video below for highlights from the SweetHEART Party & Auction.