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Auburn great Kendall Simmons turns tornado debris into art for Chizik charity fundraiser

One man's trash is an Auburn legend's treasure...

Kendall Simmons is a big man who wears many hats: Super Bowl winner, diabetes awareness advocate, and—apparently—artist.

A piece by the former Auburn standout is included in a live and silent auction of art created from found objects among debris from the tornadoes that struck Dadeville and the Lake Martin area on April 27. The auctions are part of a fundraiser for families affected by the tornadoes organized by Gene and Jonna Chizik’s newly formed YouTurn Foundation, Inc.

“God inspired the vision for the ‘Tornado Trash2Treasure’ fundraiser during my multiple trips to the Dadeville area after the tornadoes,” said Chizik, wife of Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, in a press release.  “While helping residents clean up from the devastation, we found valuable pieces of furniture and household collectibles on the side of the road that were once someone’s treasure but were now considered trash.  With consent from the homeowners and area officials, we recovered the ‘tornado trash’ and we’ve partnered with more than 50 talented veteran and inspiring artists from throughout the state who are transforming these pieces into new ‘treasures’ for others to enjoy.”

Pieces not sold after the silent auction (ending tomorrow) will be available at the Tornado Trash2Treasure Art Gala and Celebration Concert. The event will be held Thursday, October 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Event Center in downtown Opelika, and include performances by Martha’s Trouble, Tim Chambliss of KiddBlue and the apparently musically-inclined Tim Jackson, Auburn’s associate athletics director. Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased beginning Sept. 1 at www.allinforyouturn.com.

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