Paint Main Street with Westport Merchants for Save the Children

Artists of all ages are invited to paint while shoppers can vote for their favorite window.

Save the Children and Westport Main Street merchants invite area artists of all ages to participate in a storefront window painting competition August 13 - 27 to benefit children affected by emergencies around the world.  The competition is part of Save the Children's "Make a Difference" community fundraising program.

"Community involvement is important because individuals who want to make an impact in the world around them can do so in a fun and sociable way," said Maura Corcozza, senior specialist for Save the Children's direct response marketing department.  "Friendships and family relationships can be made stronger while helping children in need."

Painters can sign up by Aug. 9 to paint their own window online at www.firstgiving.org/childrenatplay.  Each window design must be based on the theme "Children at Play." 

The following downtown merchants will be participating in the art competition:  Banana Republic, BCBG, The Brown Stone, LF, LOFT, Lululemon Athletica, Oscar's, Shoe-Inn, Shoes N More, and Westport Pizzeria.

The artists will paint the windows from Aug. 13 - 15, and the window designs will be on display from Aug. 16 - 27. The winning design will be determined by how many $1 dollar votes it receives online.

People can vote for their favorite storefront window at www.firstgiving.org/childrenatplay, or in stores through Aug. 27.  People can vote as many times as they wish.  Each $1 dollar donated equals one vote.

Donations from the competition will go toward supplying child-friendly space kits to children affected by disasters. Child-friendly spaces provide kids with a safe, controlled, supportive and fun environment to help them recover.  The kits, provided at the onset of an emergency, include beach balls, basketballs, skipping ropes, marbles, blocks, dolls and other toys. 

"Child-friendly space kits are becoming part of emergency preparedness plans here in the U.S. and abroad," Corcozza said in a news release. "People's involvement in this fundraiser allows them to contribute toward creating a sense of normalcy for children affected by disaster."

Child Friendly Space Kits from the Save the Children catalog will be purchased with 100 votes, equal to $100. 

The winning artist or group will be announced Aug. 27.



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