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La Salle Sophomore Launches New Club to Help Military Families and is Selected as a KABC Cool Kid

Published on Friday, February 15, 2013 | 4:40 pm

Taylor Brennan, a La Salle High School sophomore, has launched a new school club to help military families through the healing powers of art. More than 15 talented art students have joined La Salle’s Portraits in Courage club. “Portraits of Courage is designed to give talented art students an opportunity to get together with other likeminded artists and give back to our courageous men and women in the armed services who protect our freedom and our lives every day, “ said Taylor. The club members are currently creating portraits of military service members and they will give these works of art to the military families as the student’s way of thanking the soldiers and their families for their service.

In recognition of Taylor’s commitment and perseverance, he has been selected as a KABC Cook Kid. He was filmed and interviewed for the segment by KABC reporter, Danny Romero. The interview and Cool Kid segment will air on KABC, channel 7 on Thursday February 21 during the 4:00pm edition of EYEWITNESS NEWS. The segment repeats on Sunday, February 24 on the final morning edition of EYEWITNESS NEWS (usually 10:00am, but check local listings for that day).

Art instructor Joanne Lamb serves as the staff moderator of the club, which meets afterschool, when the students will paint or draw the portraits. They intend to complete at least 15 portraits by the end of the school year, which means they can be presented in time for Memorial Day 2013.

The club is currently reaching out to the greater Pasadena community to connect with military families who would like to receive a portrait of their loved one serving in the armed forces, as well as of those who have fallen or returned home injured or disabled.

Brennan, 16, is also the president of the school’s Support Our Troops club, which he started last year to provide holiday cards and letters to members of the service, as well as “Boxes of Love” for members of the armed services and needy military families. The Portraits of Courage club is an extension of the Support Our Troops club, he said.

“I’m an artist, and my friends in art want to use our talent to help the families who have gone through loss,” he said. “I don’t think the needs of these people are being fulfilled. We want to help those families who are coping with the loss of a loved one or those who have been badly injured and whose lives have been changed.”

Mrs. Lamb explained that these students are highly gifted artists who are serious about their art and about giving back to the community.

Families who are interested should be willing to submit two to four photographs of the subject of the portrait. The photographs can be in a military setting, or of the individual in uniform, or they can be of the soldier in a casual setting. The club requests that the photos be at least 5×7 or larger so they can see the details of the face. Portraits will be done as paintings or drawings in pencil, charcoal or colored pencil depending on the artists’ preference and skill.

Military families interested in having a portrait done by the students in the Portraits of Courage club can mail their 5×7 or larger photos to Portraits of Courage Club, Attention Mrs. J. Lamb, La Salle High School, 3880 East Sierra Madre Boulevard, Pasadena.

Local organizations that work with military families are also encouraged to contact Mrs. Lamb, if they have families who would like to participate.

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