By SCOTT BRENT
For the Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – Young area artists competed in the Chalk It Up For Life sidewalk art contest from noon to 2 p.m Sept. 23 at St. Alfred Catholic Church.
Using the theme “God Loves Babies,” 22 children attempted to illustrate the importance of life with water-based chalk. Each artist was given a section of an outdoor parking lot and four different colored chalk sticks.
There were three categories of participants: grades K to 4, 5 to 8, and 9 to 12. Each participant was given a color-coded name tag at check-in that helped them get to the right area for their grade range. Each name tag also bore a number that helped the artist and volunteers locate the exact drawing space for an individual participant.
Artwork was permitted to be realistic or abstract. Judges for the competition included Christopher Rutkowski, Michigan Area chairman for Order of Malta American Association, and Jerry Mahaney, past grand knight for Knights of Columbus 4872.
The three categories the judges used to determine winners were Creativity, Craftsmanship and Theme Interpretation.
While judges reviewed the chalk art and decided on the first, second, and third place winners in each division, children and parents were invited to enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by volunteers Ken Mondro and Steve Prusakiewicz.
The winners of each division were: Meliee Aguilar (K to 4), Connor Hale (5 to 8), and Valerie Orozco (9 to 12). Prizes for first, second, and third places were Amazon gift cards of $25, $50, and $100, $50 and $25, respectively.
“I really enjoyed the contest and the other people participating with me,” said Hale, who attends Patrick Henry Middle School in Woodhaven. “Hopefully they all tried their hardest. My drawing shows that God is watching over the babies to give them the best life.”
Aguilar, who attends Long Elementary School in Dearborn, said her drawing showed “how God loves little lives.”
Orozco, who attends Kennedy High School in Taylor, said she participated in Chalk It Up For Life “because I wanted to spread the message of god loves babies. It was a fun experience with family and friends, and I think we all did a pretty good job on spreading the word. We’re all winners.”
Right to Life of Michigan Director of Minority Outreach and Gift Planning, Kathy Crombie, plans to promote this event annually, and hopes to see more involvement from parents and children.
“Not only are these kids able to express themselves through their artwork, they are able to see for themselves the beauty of what God created,” Crombie said.
The event was sponsored by the St. Alfred Catholic Church in collaboration with Right to Life of Michigan and its affiliate Central Wayne County Right to Life.
For more information about Right to Life, email Crombie at kb[email protected] or go to www.facebook.com/righttolifeofmichigan.