Art Appearing on Boughs

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The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.’  ~Robert M. Pirsig 

It is surely nearing Christmas time! When the Kiwanis Club of Steamboat begins selling their annual ornament at places around town, the holidays are drawing close. Beginning this weekend, the ornament will be available for buying. 

Our club’s major fundraising campaign is selling ornaments. From the proceeds we buy gifts for needy children at Christmas time, provide funding to send children to science camp, provide “Where to Worship” brochures for people visiting the area. We can be proud of our other random acts of service in our home town, too. 

This year, a talented and nationally known artist, Jean Perry helped us in fulfilling our interest in decorating the ornaments a little differently this year. Jean gave permission to Kiwanis to use an image of her painting “Fish Creek Falls” to embellish the bauble. 

It is a fair trade! Many visitors to the area purchase the ornaments in commemoration of their trip to Steamboat. They will take them as gifts to family and friends in other States, too. The ornaments will hang on boughs of Christmas trees far beyond Steamboat Springs,Colorado and people will become acquainted with the artist’s work. Good deal! 

Kiwanis of Steamboat is grateful to painter Jean Perry for her generosity in sharing her art, so that as a Club, we can “serve children of the world.” For more information on the artist, please visit www.JeanPerryStudio.com.

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Giving Back for Children’s Sake

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Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”               ~Anthony Robbins 

I love reading stories of people who have a deep understanding of the value of life and convey that understanding by reciprocating their gratefulness through random acts of kindness or by a creative or a uniquely meaningful approach. 

The other day the August 2011 issue of Kiwanis Magazine arrived in my Post Office Box and I began to read it. I was interested in knowing  about the Kiwanis International  Convention, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland this year. www.kiwanis.org

As I browsed the articles, I learned something about actress Jamie Lee Curtis. She was honored at the July 2011 Convention with the World Service Medal for her charitable work for children’s hospitals. She is also a best selling author of children’s books such as and “Tell Me About the Night I was Born” and “I Feel Silly: And Other Moods that Make My Day.” These books are illustrated by Laura Cornell and are geared for young children four and up. 

Philanthropy in the world of entertainment often gets drowned out in the media by the stories of those that create sensationalism of another kind. Entertainment and media “notables” partnering with organizations such as Kiwanis International for the purpose of accomplishing fulfilling missions and goals that make this world a better place inspires ordinary people to become superstars in their own right by volunteering for causes that are near and dear to their hearts.

 All around the world there is a service club and it’s members are “dedicated to improving children’s lives one community and one child at a time” they are tagged as Kiwaniians! I am very happy to be included in this group.

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Plein Air Painter in the Act

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A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh 

Last Christmas, our Kiwanis Club had a banner year of fundraising through sales of our collectible, uniquely designed Christmas ornaments. We feel the increase in sales was attributable to doing something a little different last year. We offered two separate designs rather than one. One ornament had an iconic Steamboat Springs scene (which is typical) and the second ornament choice had an image of the four 2010 Olympians from Ski Town U.S.A.We wanted to honor the gold and glory that the athletes brought back to this town! Guess what happened? People couldn’t decide which they wanted to so they purchased both! 

Now the pressure is on to try to top last year’s sales! We have decided that for a second year in a row, we would veer from the norm. This year, we will feature the art work of a plein air painter who has given permission to let the Kiwanis Club of Steamboat use an image of her painting for the ornament design. 

This artist, has found inspiration for her plein air paintings all over the world and she recently independently published images of her art work in her book “Thirty Years Of Plein-Air Painting: The Art Of Jean Perry.” For more information on her book and to read what representational painter Richard Schmid has to say about the artist, please visit http://bit.ly/mXOEuV

I am quite excited to see how the ornament turns out. I like having local artists, no matter what medium they work in, involved in the process of creating art for the benefit of community. 

The fundraising dollars from ornament sales will help support a number of worthy causes focused on “improving the lives of children – one child and one community at time.” 

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