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‘Benches’ to hold painting competition

June 19, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

School may be out but "Benches For Our Babes" is continuing to keep the word going about its mission to keep children waiting for their school bus safe.

One of the things the grassroots organization is doing this summer is holding a bench painting competition, with the winner to get a backpack full of school supplies.

From now until July 13, Benches For Our Babes in North Fort Myers will accept registration and photos for the most artistic benches in the area. The winner will be announced Aug. 1.

Christy-Lee Iwanow, organizer for the Benches program in North Fort Myers, said the idea is to get the entire community involved.

"Anyone who has an unpainted bench near their home and paints it with an educational theme," Iwanow said. "The competition will be online, with the bench getting the most likes being named the winner."

Iwanow said the educational theme is pretty broad. It can be animals or rainbows or the planets (which Iwanow is doing for her bench). It can be underwater or the periodic table.

Cape Coral and Lehigh residents can also participate in their communities.

The painting must have an educational theme, be kid friendly and fully painted and sealed. No business advertisements or logos are allowed. The benches do not have to be purchased through the Benches program, Iwanow said.

Benches encourages people to join its Facebook group to upload the progress of your masterpiece. When finished, e-mail your registration and best photo by July 13 toBenches4babesnfm@gmail.com.

Iwanow said she expects to pick more than one winner.

"We want to get these benches ready for the rainy season. We will really promote their artwork online. Anyone can join," Iwanow said.

Benches For Our Babes will hold its next event on July 20 and 21 at Rockstar Harley-Davidson in Fort Myers, which will also include all the local chapters.

On Jan. 14, Alana Tamplin, 12, of North Fort Myers, was hit by a car while walking back from her sister's bus stop.

This past week, one of the benches they built and placed at a bus stop in Cape Coral was hit by a car and flipped over. The bench was undamaged, but the car lost parts of its front bumper.



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