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21st year at Drexel’s Art in the Park on Flag Day Event


21st year to create mini murals at Drexel’s Art in the Park on Flag Day Event and 20th year to Paint the Vale park playground equipment

The Vale park was not its usual quiet at 9:00 am on June 14th, youth and adults took part in Drexel H. Foundation’s annual “Art in the Park, on Flag Day”. Not only did the park playground equipment get a brand new coat of paint, the participants got the chance to win a trophy for 1st place in 3 age divisions in a mini-mural painting competition. This is the 21st year for this event. It all starts with picking up the litter in the park, then painting the metal playground equipment, followed by snacks & discussions about community service, gratitude to veterans who served our county, and why there is a national holiday called “Flag Day”. Next each person got a board to enter the mini mural competition they can take home. It all wraps up with awards and everyone gets to pick a prize so everyone feels like a winner. At the event Sandijean Fuson the President of the Drexel Foundation also acknowledged all the sponsors and showed appreciation of this years grant support for their several Art Programs for the youth in this area this year. “Although there were fewer of us this year due to COVID, we were so happy to provide an in person event for the youth of our area. Last year we did not get to paint the playground equipment and the competition was modified and done with drive by pick up of supplies, and drop off to display the murals.” said Fuson.

Volunteers this year were: Kohen Payne,Emily Fuller, Todd Fuller competition judge, Sam McLaughlin, Toby Hickman, Brenda Rameriz, Katherine Halloway,Willow Fuson, Jaxon Cheyney, Lilianne Giddens,Sandijean Fuson Kathryn Jimenez, Sophia Jimenez, Mike McLaughlin, and Stephine Giddens. Winning Trophies were Toby Hickman, Jaxon Cheyney, and Kathryn Jimenez. Top honors went to Willow Fuson who won the overall Grand Prize of BEST OF SHOW. Everyone who participated had their name put into the drawing for refurbished bicycles from Drexel Foundations sustainability project. Displayed at the event were two of the bicycles. Drexel Foundation has a goal to refurbish 25 bikes and give them away to those who participate in Drexel’ art & cultural activities, and volunteer. “It is an exciting year to do community service. There will be several opportunities with the painting of the Art Builds community Art Project cut outs in July. This public art project will be held at various locations all summer. Announcements will be posted on Drexel Foundation Instagram, facebook and website. We hope to engage people with art. We are asking people of all ages to “make their mark” and help us paint the wood cutouts to create COLORFUL, FUNKY cows to represent the spirit of our community-- a hybrid of agricultural/ranching/Wild West spirit with a love of art! On July 3rd 9-1:00 at the Vale’s Oregon Trail Days, then later in July in Ontario near the Splash pad area, and in Nyssa at the South park.” Said Fuson. Paint and brushes will be provided for people to express themselves and make a personal mark on art that will be located around Vale. Everyone of any age is invited, and all who paint these cutouts will be entered into the drawing for the FREE bikes.

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for other exciting Drexel Foundation events this summer: August Art Camp Workshops August 9th -11th 9:00am-noon; Free Talent Show August 12th 7:00pm. Crash Course in Film-making Sept 1; Children’s Film Festival and Film-makers Competition Sept.18th at 6:00pm-10:00pm. Historical Grand Opera House & Vale Hotel Tours & Open House Dec. 31st 9:00am -12:00pm; Volunteer Appreciation night Oct 28th, Teen Film Project Spring -Summer 2021 and Free Prom Dresses & tuxedos at Drexel’ “Formal Closet” 2021 by appointment. For more information or if you have any questions leave a message for Sandijean Fuson, or Kelsey Tolman at (541) 473-3470.


Photo credit: Sam McLaughlin & Mike McLaughlin


Photo #1: BEST OF SHOW WINNER Left to right Sandijean and Brenda Rameriz ( (Drexel sustainability Specialist) awarding Willow Fuson Best of Show.


Photo#2 Back row; Kohen Payne,Emily Fuller, Todd Fuller competition judge, Sam McLaughlin, Toby Hickman, Brenda Rameriz, Katherine Halloway,Willow Fuson; front row Jaxon Cheyney, Lilianne Giddens,Sandijean Fuson Kathryn Jimenez, Sophia Jimenez. not pictured Mike McLaughlin, & Stephine Giddens.


Photo #3 Leaving a handprint on the merry-go-round was a 20 year tradition, but this year it was the teeter tooter.

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