The 3rd Annual Chalk for Charity Street Painting Festival artists braved the possibility of rain and persevered through less than ideal conditions to share their talent for good causes. Close to 60 teams sketched, shaded, and painted masterpieces on Kentucky Avenue and Main Street in downtown Lakeland. Proceeds raised will purchase wheelchairs for those in need through the Lakeland Knights of Columbus, provide Police Academy scholarships, and support a National Champion Police Canine Unit. (View artists' work and more event photos by clicking here.)
Experts from the Polk Museum of Art, Sleepy Hill Middle School, and Florida Southern College selected champions in the Professional and Amateur categories. The Professional Champion was Nate Baranowski (sponsored by Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill). The Amateur Champions were Harrison students: Claire Hallock, Sydney Achinger, and Katie Achinger (sponsored by Lorrie Walker Public Relations).
People's Choice prizes were awarded based on tokens purchased by the public and deposited in the artists' "vote boxes". The winners were:
- School Award - Polk Pre-Collegiate
- 1st Place - Maren Calhoon (sponsored by Frescos Bakery & Bistro)
- 2nd Place - Olivia Gelsinger (9 years old - self-sponsored)
- 3rd Place - Polk Pre-Collegiate (10th Grade)
Honorable Mention prizes were awarded to:
- Dee Sabean (sponsored by Grow Financial)
- Katie Better (sponsored by Pairadox Brewing)
- Laurie Pinna and Dave Conley (sponsored by McGee Auto Service & Tire)
- Rachel Schwemin and Alyssa Mullen (sponsored by Fr. Mendoza Assembly of the Knights)
The Chalk for Charity Street Painting Festival was followed by an artists' reception at Paint Along Studios located at 123 South Kentucky Avenue in downtown Lakeland. The event was catered by All Occasion Cakes & Catering located at 1042 E. Rose Street in Lakeland. Treats both sweet and savory were enjoyed. Larry Holmes, owner of the catering business, provided the artists with his own edible works of arts. View samples of Mr. Holmes' work by visiting his website's Photo Gallery.