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$22,000 donation from the heART

Photo by Nathan Allen
Front Row:  Karen Seward, Beth Diamond, Sherri Birkheimer Rooker, John Miller, Mary Crowley.
Second Row: Aaron Ashton, Lynne Klamm, Billy Canfield, Christine Townsend, Jill Blanchard, Mike Coppinger. Third Row: Phil Fernandez, Tom Donahue.

On Dec. 3 the heARTs of Rutland! street art project presented a check for $22,000 to the Long Term Recovery Committee of Rutland County. The room was filled with smiles. The project began when Mary Crowley and Karen Seward were thinking of a way to show how much heart the Rutland area has. From record breaking blood drives to fundraising, Rutland delivers admirably for its size.

After Hurricane Irene and the outpouring of support in its wake, it was obvious that the time was right for a community art display. The organizers were constantly reminded of Rutland's heart. Thus, the heARTs of Rutland came into existence. It became a community partnership organized under the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Southern Vermont (HBRASV) with support from the Downtown Rutland Partnership, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce and Rutland Economic Development Corp. The presenting corporate sponsor was Omya. The director of the HBRASV, Sherrie Birkheimer said "this project was all about community and how our community shows heart in so many ways. We came together to support this project in ways we never could have hoped for. The artists really stepped up and spent so many hours of hard work."

Artists painted and embellished 4-foot fiberglass hearts that were displayed throughout Rutland and the Region from June 2012 until they were auctioned off in November 2012. A recent release states "100% of this donation will be used to help victims of Hurricane Irene that are still trying to recover from its destruction."

Additionally, the HeARTs of Rutland street project is awarding 10 grants of $200 each to be given out in the month of December for children's art education programs. Those applying need to be from Rutland County, and requests must be related to children's art education.  The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2012. Email for an application.