Thursday, February 28, 2013

heARTS for ART: Fundraiser benefitting Cook Children's Hospital {Allen, TX Event Photographer}

heARTS for ART is the name Samantha Schmidt gave to an annual fund-raising event that began last year to raise money for AML (Acute Lymphoid Leukemia) research at Cook Children's Hospital in Dallas, TX. Though Samantha was battling AML herself at the time, she played a vital role in planning the very first heARTS for ART event.  She chose the event's name and art theme and even designed the logo.

Sadly, Samantha passed away shortly before last year's inaugural event was scheduled to take place. She was just 10 years old.  To celebrate her life, Samantha's family decided the event should go on as planned.  Peggy and Perry Schmidt and their son Daniel found comfort in helping to raise money to fund research that might possibly find a cure for the very disease that took Samantha's life.  They saw the event as a way to celebrate their daughter (and sister) Samantha, honor her memory, and keep her passions for art and for finding a cure for AML alive.

This year I was thrilled to contribute to the silent auction for their second annual heARTS for ART event. As a lover of art, I knew my daughter Alden would enjoy the event, so we attended together.

Samantha had wanted the event to celebrate local artists.  She wanted there to be lots of creative things to do and see.  The event delivered on that dream in a big way!

Area elementary, middle school and high school art teachers supported the event by encouraging their students to submit art and photography pieces for the event's art show.  Over 100 pieces were submitted and showcased at the art exhibit that day.

Teachers from Samantha's old school offered drama and art workshops from the "Art to Go" program and even set up a clay molding table for children to create their own art.  A special table displayed Samantha's art pieces that were made while she was a patient at Cook Children's Hospital.  Samantha's horse painting below was made into necklaces that were available for purchase at the event.

Making this event a fund-raising success were the over 70 adult and youth volunteers, boy scouts, and girls scouts that came out to lend a helping hand.  In addition to the many teachers that came out to support the event, several Allen High School honors students from the art program volunteered at the face painting booth as well.  Several local school choirs came out to perform, and DJ Bigg Dave energized the crowd with great dancing music.

With over 200 contributions from various vendors for the silent auction, and the funds raised from the hair and face painting booths, the bake sale, concession stand, and the necklace and t-shirt sales, heARTS for ART will be able to present about $18,000 to Cook Children's Hospital this year!!!

It was a success - and a celebration for sure!  I have no doubts that Samantha was looking down from heaven with a big smile on her face - and perhaps a few dance steps of her own!

Here are a few images I took at the event this year!

Alden still had Valentine's Day on her mind.  
Even before we left the house, she was planning what she'd have painted on her face.  
The face painting line was too long when we got there, so she stopped to paint a tile first.

Alden's original plans were to include the words "Valentine's Day" across her forehead.
I'm not sure why she ditched those plans.

She must be my daughter.  Next on her agenda was the Bake Sale...
Who doesn't love baked goods!  Especially ones as pretty as this!

I wish I had taken this first shot earlier in the day - as this place was packed!  The tables set up below were filled with all sorts of silent auction donations from over 200 area vendors.  The electronic display you see near the second story railing in the first image showcased photographs entered by students in the area.  Alden and I loved looking at all the art work. A second exhibit was located upstairs.

Girls participating in the "Art to Go" drama clinic.

Alden made the bird and flower you see below - and about five other creations.  Sadly, she stacked them all on top of each other in the car and they all stuck together.  She now has a really cool spiral colored clay ball with a bird's head!

Alden and I bumped into one of my friends and TLP clients.  I believe Maya may have even snagged the package I donated for the silent auction.  (You go, girl!)  Here's her daughter proudly displaying the necklace featuring Samantha's horse painting.

DJ Mike got everyone dancing!

 Another familiar (and exhausted) TLP face!  
Estee's mom Julie and sister Ruby were a big part of planning this event.

I hope to see those of you who can make it come out to next year's heARTS for ART event.  It's great fun for a great cause!

FYI:  If you are interested in buying a t-shirt please email the following address:

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