April art contest and benefit organized by Ramsey’s Trailside and Paxton’s Grill reaped big rewards for local food pantry during time of great need

By Chuck Gibson 

LOVELAND, OH (June 2, 2020) – Winners for the ‘Art of Giving’ contest 10 and under age group were announced by Paxton’s Grill and Ramsey’s Trailside at the end of May.

Winning art for under 10 year olds by Kane (Provided) 

The request for art work to decorate the windows of Ramsey’s and Paxton’s in Historic Downtown Loveland with a message of thanks and hope drew a great response. Artwork from about 50 different young artists was submitted for consideration.  Kevin Egan, owner/partner Paxton’s/Ramsey’s group expressed thanks for the amazing work. He also acknowledged the challenge the quality of art work presented in choosing winners.

“Oh my gosh,” said Egan. “The response was amazing.”

Response to Art of Giving contest was ‘amazing’ – some originals displayed in Ramsey’s window (Chuck Gibson) 

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including members of the LIFE Food Pantry organization. Egan called for “Drum roll please. . .” announcing Kane Trent as the first place winner earning a $100 prize and a recreation of the winning art in one of the windows. Second place was a tie between Corinne Labin and Emma with each earning a $50 prize for their art in the 10 and under category.  All the artwork is on display in front and side windows of Ramsey’s Trailside for the next few weeks.

Giving was the clear mission of the ‘Art of Giving’ art contest and campaign for donations to help support LIFE Food Pantry. The response of the community drew a “jaw-dropping” response from Egan and others involved. Going in to the event, he expected a fun event to raise a little money to help the food pantry.

“It was a tremendous success,” Egan said.

Corrine Labin’s artwork tied for 2nd in 10 and under age group. (Provided)

This work by Emma earned a 2nd place tie in 10 and under (Provided) 

How big a success was it? Linda Bergholz, LIFE Food Pantry Director, published an ‘Art of Giving Recap’ on LIFE Food Pantry Facebook page. She told Loveland Beacon the amount raised by donations during the ‘Art of Giving’ promotion is making a positive difference at a time of increased need.

“These are funds that came in we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” said Bergholz. “We’re feeding so many more people now than we were feeding before.”

Artists really portrayed the message of people helping people (Provided) 

It takes a lot more money to get the products to feed the increased numbers of families in need. Packaging the products to make it safe and accessible for those in need adds even more cost.

“We’ve had to change our whole way of how we look at food distribution,” Bergholz explained. “We have to keep the clients safe and we have to keep the volunteers safe.”

Bergholz says the ‘Art of Giving’ program helped inform the community about the organization of LIFE Food Pantry suddenly faced with feeding a lot more people than usual as a result of the pandemic

Another winning piece of artwork from 11 and over (Provided)

She cited an increase of about 70 families in need just in Loveland. That equates to somewhere between 150-250 more mouths to feed than before the pandemic. An increase like that could require a cut back for each package distributed to be sure everyone gets something.

“This ‘Art of Giving’ means we did not have to cut back on what people were getting,” said Bergholz. “We were able to continue feeding just the way we were.”

In fact, LIFE Food Pantry was able to increase the purchase of fresh produce coming in with the additional donations.

“It was unbelievable,” Bergholz said about the amount of donations which came in as a result of the Ramsey’s/Paxton’s ‘Art of Giving’ benefit. “When Chad Planner told me the amount of money that had come in, I was literally dumbfounded. I was at a loss for words.”

Up next will be an auction of the original works by the kids-now on display in Ransey’s windows (Chuck Gibson)

Bergholz did not anticipate the number of kids that would get involved. She considers herself fortunate to have been able to review all of the artwork entered and choose her top three. For the record, one of her top three did match with the top three of the other judges involved.  

“I was struck, tears and a lump I my throat, because the children who were doing these got it,” she exclaimed. “They understood what they were doing and why they were doing it. You could tell these kids cared about other people in the community.”

Their artwork showed they recognized nurses, doctors, the food pantry, firefighters and everybody out there working.

“For them to get the donations that came along with the entries was like a double blessing,” said Bergholz. 

The purpose was to recognize and thank the givers while giving through art (Provided) 

The need doesn’t end is the message which follows. Bills that were deferred by landlords and utilities companies are going to come due as the restrictions are relaxed and people return to work. LIFE Food Pantry is acutely aware of the financial concerns people will face in the immediate future. Funds raised will not begin to meet the continued demands of increased needs. What’s next?  Still more good news from the young artists. They have agreed to donate their original artworks for auction (online auction being planned) with all proceeds to support LIFE Food Pantry and the families they serve.

“One of them, I want the contact information for the kid because I want to personally buy it so I can frame it and hang it,” Bergholz concluded. “I was so struck by this particular piece. It looks like I’m going to have to bid on it.”

Click here for more on LIFE Food Pantry

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