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AHS artists, organizations raise funds to help others
Visual artists had a go at using the new Byrnes Performing Arts Center May 3, drawing a big crowd into the lobby to see an impressive exhibit of drawings and paintings along with hand-crafted items such as stained glass, jewelry, garden art and other artistic items crafted by art students at the school.
The crafts were sold to benefit the arts program and the fine art was displayed facing in and out of the large wall of windows. Art teacher Bev Schatz coordinates the event with help from others, like Haller Middle School music teacher Joe Horsak who brought his marimba band to set a festive mood.
"Bev puts a lot of work into the Art Festival," Horsak said.
"I really like the breadth of media and styles that she shares with her art classes. She's into everything," Horsak said. Indeed, from pencil portraits to cement pavers, the media represented was vast and diverse.
A mother of a 10-year-old who is interested in the arts and drama, Michelle Rengen enjoyed the event. She said she spent $42 and is always impressed with all the arts events at the high school.
"We always attend everything," she said. "We go to all the concerts and the high school plays. It's fantastic what these kids can do." Her son Jacob especially enjoyed the Danny Vernon portrayal of Elvis when he was in the BPAC earlier this spring.
"Jacob wore his own Elvis costume, went back stage and learned some new dance moves from Danny," Rengen said.
Inside the school, members of the French Club sold baked goods to fund a trip to France in summer of 2009 and the AHS Key Club offered a silent auction of baskets full of goodies to raise money to educate children in Sri Lanka.
Key Club Advisor Kristine Copenhaver said the Key Club is a service organization affiliated with the Arlington Kiwanis Club committed to providing opportunities to all. The AHS club is comprised of about 15 - 20 active members.
"They researched a lot of organizations and chose the 'Free the Children' program as beneficiary of their efforts," Copenhaver said.
The Key Club raised $1,500 all last year and the basket auction raised $700.
"We need to raise a total of $8,500 to cover the cost of a one-room school with a home and salary for a teacher," said Copenhaver, who is the AHS school librarian.
"The community donated all the contents," she said, adding the Key Club, under the leadership of president elect Sean Welch and co-chair Melania Baubalitz, did all the work. Any baskets not sold will be donated to the Kiwanis Auction on the Fourth of July this summer.
Also during the day, out back of the PAC, the Future Farmers of America washed cars to help pay for a trip to the state convention in Pullman and the horticulture students sold plants from the AHS greenhouse.
Joe Horzak's Haller M.S. Marimba Band set a lively mood at mid-day in the PAC during the event. He is also excited to announce that this marimba band has been invited to perform at the Respect Summit this month.
"An appreciation for all cultures is the type of function we like to support, and it's nice that people are starting to walk the walk," Horsak said.
The smell of hot dogs and hamburgers wafted across the campus as Arlington Kiwanis Club members offered a complete lunch for $5.
"It's really nice to have this event in the PAC," said the organizer, Schatz.
"The light is great and we don't have to worry about rain."