Chalk art contest to benefit local children

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Greencastle made headlines recently for its growing graffiti problem in the downtown business district, but an upcoming contest in the same area will encourage artistic expression, but this time for a good cause.

Plans for a first-of-its-kind chalk art contest on the Greencastle square are under way with the proceeds set to benefit a local charity that provides financial assistance to school children.

Participants young and old are encouraged to bring their sidewalk chalk, and for only $5 and a can of food, will be able to create a drawing of their choosing all around the Greencastle square.

Organizer Karla Lawless, director of the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is excited about the chance to hopefully start a new tradition in Greencastle.

"I have no idea how it's gonna go the first year," she told members of the tourism board Tuesday night. "I've talked to most of the businesses here and they are very supportive of this."

The event won't take place until the end of September, but Lawless is hoping to get the word out now, so people have time to plan. She said she hopes it will attract more than just people from Putnam County.

"I'd like it to get so huge that people from outside the county come," Lawless said. "It'll just be a fun day and a chance to see what everybody has to offer in the way of chalk art."

Lawless said all the money raised will benefit an organization called "Return a Gift," which helps school age children with expenses and provides food for their families during the holidays.

"I'm really excited about this," she said. "I can't wait."

Other communities in the state already host similar events.

Lawless said she plans to send out around 300 fliers to local businesses and organizations to let them know about the event. She will also have to go to the City Council to make sure they're on board with it as well.

The event has been set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 and is open to everyone in the community. Children as young as 4 years old up to senior citizens can buy an 8-foot by 8-foot square of downtown sidewalk and draw to their heart's content.

"This is to show the community that we have a heart and want to give back to the community," Lawless said.

For more information, contact the Putnam County CVB by calling 653-8743.

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