UPDATE: Art 4 Aid brings in $12K-plus to help those affected by storms

May 6—CATLETTSBURG — Hundreds of people came together to bring thousands of dollars to community members in Boyd County.

Many different forms of art were on display Sunday in the Boyd County Convention and Arts Center for Art 4 Aid.

The event brought in a whopping total of $12,290 for families in the county who were affected by severe weather that struck the Boyd County area in early April. Organizers said they would deliver the money to United Way of Northeast Kentucky Monday. United Way will then distribute to families.

Multiple tattoo shops worked, side by side, inking skin to raise money for the cause.

Kasey Carroll, with Midnite Society Tattoo in Summit, helped pave the way for the event to happen. She said after stormed rocked the area in April, she and her husband, Garrett Carroll, sprung into action.

"We love our community deeply and they have always given to us and everything we have. We always want to give back," she said.

"It struck less than a mile from our tattoo shop and we saw the destruction. We just thought, 'how could we help and give back,' and Garrett made a Facebook post and it just happened," Kasey Carroll added.

In a span of two hours, $2,220 was raised after doors opened at 4 p.m. Organizers reached the $12,000 goal a few hours later.

The welcoming atmosphere could be felt in the center, Carroll said. Lines formed, people chattered about what tattoo they would receive and eager faces with eyes peeled watched with music roaring as a busy hive of tattoo artists raced to ink people.

"Everybody loves tattoos," she said. "People like an open and loving atmosphere, and that's one of the parts that has made this so successful. We are open arms to everyone.

"This is necessary because our community is important. We have a wonderful community full of people who do care about each other. It's important when things happen to stick together and help each other," Carroll added.

Among the multiple vendors arranged in the building was Alex Blake, owner of Undead Exotics, an oddity shop. Sitting at a makeshift booth in the center was Blake, who was eager to take part in raising money for disaster relief.

"That's the main reason why I am here. It's a good time for everybody and an awesome idea," she said. "If anything I wish we would have started pursuing it even sooner to make it a bigger event. I am really jealous of the people getting tattoos. I wish I was getting one today, too."

Sam Neal, of Homesick Tattoo Company, was in the process of administering an involved tattoo to a customer. Neal said she was in awe of the charity event.

"I am happy to be here around all of these other artists. I personally know a bunch of people that were affected by the storms. I just wanted to do something for them and have fun while I am at it," she said.

Carl Prust, owner of the tattooing and piercing shop, was immediately on board, motivating her to jump in the fun for a good cause, Neal said.

"He told me about it so I researched it on my own and I was just stoked," she said. "It's a pretty rural area and being able to see an art function this big be this successful in a place like Boyd County is awesome."