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Virtual “paint nite” event planned as fundraiser

Sarah Pollice, the organizer of the John Mahood paint nite fundraiser, gets prepared with her daughter Liliana. DAMON MACLEAN

Its usual fundraising efforts on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, John Mahood Public School in Elmira has turned to a virtual event that will have participants indulging their artistic sides via a Yaymaker “paint nite.”

When planning began last year, the event was supposed to be an in-person experience, but it’s now an online affair, like so many others.

“We started planning it about a year ago for the first time. Then, because of strikes and COVID, it had to be postponed. It was originally supposed to be in April, and then we changed it from in-person to virtual,” explained parent council member and organizer Sarah Pollice of the winding road leading to Paint Nite: Magic under the Stars on October 23.

The format sees an artist walk participants through all the steps to go from blank canvas to full masterpiece in under two hours.

The Yaymaker paint nites first came to her attention about a year and a half ago when she attended a session. Later, she learned the organization provides an option for fundraising events, and decided it would make an excellent opportunity for her children’s schools.

Typically the events are held in person, led by a local artist. This time around, however, things have changed, with online sessions the only outlet. In this case, it’ll be hosted by Massachusetts-based artist Casey Glynn.

Going online offers one advantage at least, Pollice noted, pointing to that more than one person per household could take part after buying a $35 ticket. On the downside, organizers may have to sell more of them to reach the same fundraising goal.

“Before, when it was in person, each person had to buy their own tickets – it was easier to sell them now, as just one ticket per household is good enough.”

The goal is to raise $3,000, with the current toll at $555. All proceeds will go to the parent council to be used at the school, though a specific project has yet to be determined.

“Fundraising is difficult right now, and it’s going to be limited in number of how many we can do at the school this year,” said Pollice “Our pizza lunches on Fridays, that was a big moneymaker in the past, bringing in about $10,000 per school year. We’re not allowed to bring outside food into the school as far as pizzas, so we rely on fundraisers like this,” she said of the paint nite. “This is probably going to be one of the few that we actually have so… we appreciate the support.”

Since the program is now online, the event is open to anyone from the age of 6 and up. The ticket cost covers just the instruction, with participants responsible for acquiring the necessary supplies as outlined online, where you can search for details of the John Mahood event.

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