Auction start exceeds expectations

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There was a frantic flurry of excitement and activity yesterday (Thursday, June 7) when the eBay auction for Sophie’s Secret Postcards finally went online after months of anticipation.

Within minutes, bidding had exceeded all expectation as hundreds of people pledged money to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity in the hope of securing their favourite postcard from a choice of over 570 painted by professional and aspiring artists.

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The secret auction was the idea of Chiara Wells, a student at St Richard’s Catholic College and a friend of Sophie Maria Taylor, who sadly died last year after a long and brave battle with cancer, aged just 12 years old. Under the guidance of head teacher Doreen Cronin and art teacher Miranda Pennington, the college students embarked on the project to create something positive in Sophie’s memory.

They wrote to hundreds of artists and celebrities requesting a painting, drawing or doodle on the back of a postcard and were overwhelmed with the response from people all over the world.

The students also created their own work reflecting Sophie’s passion for flowers, hearts and animals, some of which are shown on this page.

Miss Cronin said: “Every postcard here is a work of love, because Sophie loved art and it is a great way of keeping her memory alive as well as raising funds for a remarkable charity. Sophie was a very creative girl with a gentle nature and bore her illness with quiet dignity. She was a popular girl, who always had a smile on her face and never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her. She was an angel sent to be among us, a real inspiration.”

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When the family visited St Richard’s Catholic College this week to see the postcards, Sophie’s mother Luiza spoke of how her daughter “touched so many hearts with her kindness”, adding: “ She was our little angel, our treasure.”

Her father James was quite overwhelmed when he saw the display of artwork. He said: “It’s humbling to see this brilliant work and how much time and effort has gone into it. Sophie would have been chuffed to bits.”

Sophie’s Secret postcard auction runs on eBay until Saturday, June 16 when the identities of the artists will be revealed. All the contributors names, gallery of artworks and how to take part are on www.sophiespostcard.com.

Bids start at £1 and all proceeds will go to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Visit www.royalmarsden.org.

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