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Art with heart

'Artunes' expands for May 22 event at Bald Mountain

Artunes on the Mountain-Springtime benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Saturday, May 22 Bald Mountain State Recreation Area 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

May 05, 2010 - rth grader who said 'Love the hair,'-- make Chizzy laugh.

Others are touching.

"I'm an emotional person," he said. "It takes me a long time just to get through them."

But more importantly, the letters let him know his message is getting across when he spends time demonstrating his art in local elementary schools.

Recently, Chizzy -- who's real name is Mike Chisholm -- spent an afternoon at Orion Oaks.

"I get the kids geared up and excited about art, and then say 'Hey, what if art could help save people's lives?'" he said. "They think it's really cool; they realize art is important."

It's a message Chisholm has worked most of his 43 years to spread, and on May 22 he plans to accomplish something special in Orion Township when the second annual Artunes on the Mountain - Springtime kicks off at Bald Mountain State Recreation Area.

Like last fall's event, Artunes will feature artists displaying work in a variety of mediums, with sale proceeds benefiting charity.

Each artist who attends to sell his or her wares, Chisholm explained, will donate 25 percent of proceeds to the event's beneficiaries, and booth fees will be donated as well.

"No one is making any money from this event," said Chisholm at a recent meeting of the Orion Township Board of Trustees, where he spoke about the event.

Chisholm, who founded Chizzy's Charities Artist Network, said his partners, Dave Czasar and Kathy Chassell, work just as hard as he does.

And they do it all for one simple reason, he said.

They want to make a difference.

"I've had so much help from so many people over my lifetime; I was out on my own so young," Chisholm said, noting he left the home of his adoptive parents when he was just 14.

But, he said, although he found himself down and out more than once, those early experiences taught him about life, the way he wanted to live, and the way he wanted to treat others.

"My whole life people have come to help and been good to me," he said.

And Artunes is no exception, with lots of support for the fund-raiser coming from businesses in Orion and the surrounding communities.

IN addition to art, the event also features live music, a 10K and 2K run, live theater, organic fashion show, and food from local restaurants. Popcorn, ice cream and cotton candy vendors will also be on site.

It's going to be huge, and it's all for a good cause," Chisholm said. "So many people have family and friends who've been touched by cancer. we can make a difference."

For more information about participating as an artist, runner or vendor, check out

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