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Celebrating the Arts -Measles Style

October 3, 2009

Saturday, September 12, marked the 6th annual Avenue for the Arts Market in downtown Grand Rapids.  This market features local artists with booths displaying jewelry, paintings, and vaccinations?

The American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids (ARCGGR) has just recently become active in fundraising and raising awareness for the Measles Initiative, one of several international services of the Red Cross.  This event was somewhat of a kickoff to a busy rest of the year as our Measles Initiative Team of the ARCGGR has set an ambitious goal of $5,000 by the end of 2009.  5,000 vaccinations and 5,000 lives saved.  We only had ~$460 of our goal raised from donations from friends (THANK YOU GADJADAR’S) and selling delicious fair trade coffee at the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market.

The ARCGGRMI team was in need of a sign for future Measles Initiative events, so we acquired a canvas banner and traced a map of Michigan to be painted at Avenue for the Arts.  The idea was to have a long lasting sign for the future that the Grand Rapids community actually had a hand in creating.

Everyone watching a performance and painting the mosaic

Everyone watching a performance and painting the mosaic

Apart from painting and spreading the good word of measles vaccinations, we were even able to sell our new Measles bracelets & t-shirts!

Sara Bakker and I were enjoying telling people about the Measles Initiative and watching people paint the Michigan mosaic from 4-9pm.  Our “booth,” amongst others, was located between two brick buildings.  In the center of the lot, there was an area set up for several performances throughout the beautiful afternoon and evening.  From singing, dancing, and drumming, the sound of music and smell of creativity were in the air.

Watch the video below, created by Jon Brown, which shows how much fun Sara and I had at this event!

Hurray! 35 lives saved!

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