Monday, April 19, 2021

Wet Paint Live Boosts Leadership Marco Scholarship Fund

Betty Newman paints a ‘whimsical mermaid’ at The Esplanade.

Betty Newman paints a ‘whimsical mermaid’ at The Esplanade.

By Noelle H. Lowery

The Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Marco called, and local artists answered. The mission: To raise money for the Leadership Marco Scholarship Fund by participating in the Seventh Annual Wet Paint Live on Feb. 12.

Eighteen artists spread out in nine locations throughout Marco Island and Goodland to paint for the cause of education. “I have been a part of it from the beginning,” said Betty Newman while painting a whimsical mermaid in front of the gallery she runs with Judith Chinski — The Artist’s Gallery-Marco Island — at The Esplanade Shoppes. “It gets the community involved, and anything that gets Marco Islanders involved is a good thing.”

Tara O’Neill, who was painting at Mar-Good Harbor Park, agrees: “It is for a really good cause.”

The day of the event was a frenzy of activity for artists. Each painted an original work at a location of their choosing between 9 AM-3 PM the day of the event. Then they hustled their finished masterpieces and themselves to a 5:45 PM reception at Rose Hall Auditorium where the artwork was previewed in preparation for the 7 PM live auction.

Since the inception of the Leadership Marco Scholarship Fund, more than $60,000 in scholarships have been granted to local college-bound, high school students. Just last year, local students Alessa Lane, Jennifer Schoen, Ross Castillo, Zachary

Joan Scherer immortalizes the ease of the ‘Goodland life’ in her oils.

Joan Scherer immortalizes the ease of the ‘Goodland life’ in her oils.

Halaschak and Karissa Ziegelmann received a combined $15,000.00 in Leadership Marco scholarships. The idea originated in 2007 at a meeting with O’Neill, Keith Dameron, Dana Souza, Joanne Sanborn and Sandi Riedemann.

According to Riedemann, now the Chamber’s executive director, the organization is on track to award another $15,000 in scholarships thanks to Wet Paint Live and another February fundraiser sponsored by the Chamber, Souper Bowl-Marco Island. This event raised $11,000 for the scholarship fund Super Bowl weekend.

“We spearhead the program because we believe in education and want our students to become good citizens,” explains Riedemann. “It helps the students in our area to be able to have a good start in their chosen educational endeavors.”

The requirements for scholarships are strong grade-point averages, volunteer work and displays of leadership, and each applicant has a face-to-face interview with committee members. Any student within the Goodland, Marco Island, Isles of Capri and Fiddlers Creek area is eligible to apply. The Chamber is accepting applications now, and the scholarships will be awarded at the organization’s “After 5” event on May 21.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 239-394-7549


2014 Wet Paint Live Artists
• Carolyn Burger
• Judith Chinski
• Popo Flanigan
• Sara Jane Foltz
• Judy Harthorn
• Lee Horton
• Inez Hudson
• Mary Moran
• Donals Mills
• William Ward Moseley
• Betty Newman
• Tara O’Neill
• Phyllis Pransky
• Gail Trent
• Joan Scherer
• Karen Swanker
• Melinda Trick
• Victor-Hugo Vaca Jr.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *