United Spinal Starts Auction of Grand Concert Harp Built by Master Harp Artisan With Spinal Cord Injury: A World Class Harp Built From a Wheelchair

Mar 12, 2012, 12:07 ET from United Spinal Association

NEW YORK, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association's membership division National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), announced today the start of the on-line auction of the "Healing Harp," a world class Grand Concert Harp built by George Flores -- a master harp builder/technician and wheelchair user. Auction proceeds will benefit people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) nationwide.

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The auction, via eBay, goes live at 3:00 p.m. EDT, March 12th and concludes on March 22th.

The custom-built Venus Aria model Grand Concert Harp in natural finish with hand painted soundboard and handpicked special veneers has a new technology no other harp in the world has, which was implemented in this particular harp. The technology strengthens the overall structure and enhances the acoustic properties of the wood. The Healing Harp is valued at $40,000.

Flores, an NSCIA member who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 2004, created his 47-string harp with the aid of a stand-up wheelchair that allowed him to build, calibrate, and tune at the highest places of this tall symphonic instrument.

"I thought about the fact that harps are known around the world as being a healing instrument. I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring that same healing power to the world and all people with disabilities, including people with spinal cord injuries and disorders," said Flores who built the harp with the support of the Venus Harp Company, a world leader in harp manufacturing.

Flores chose NSCIA as the beneficiary of his labor of love due to their support in navigating doctors and helping him successfully advocate for a stand-up wheelchair during his rehabilitation, as well as their ability to help others lead full and independent lives with spinal cord injury or disorder.

"This gift is clearly the most creative and unique donation we have received in our 65 plus year history," said K. Eric Larson, United Spinal Senior Vice President of Membership and Chapter Services.         

"The funds generated through this auction will directly support our mission of enabling people living with spinal cord injury and disorder (like George Flores) to achieve the highest possible quality of life," he added.                                       

World renowned professional harpist Merry Miller has been playing the Healing Harp at various events.   Donations to NSCIA are also being accepted in recognition of the Healing Harp, and as a separate "thank you gift," a copy of her Favorites from the Harp CD will be given for donations over $100.

About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.

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K. Eric Larson
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SOURCE United Spinal Association