Paint party boosts program for Solano’s aged-out foster youth

From the Daily Republic, Fairfield October 17th, 2016.

Alisa Duncan, a participant of the Easy Easel Christmas tree painting in Fairfield, lay's down the initial paint for the moon shape. Sunday.(Josh Redsun/Daily Republic)

Alisa Duncan, a participant of the Easy Easel Christmas tree painting in Fairfield, lay’s down the initial paint for the moon shape. Sunday.(Josh Redsun/Daily Republic)

ROCKVILLE — The blue paint was bright against the white background as 34 painters, mostly beginners or those who hadn’t painted for years, dashed brushes across easels Sunday to benefit aged-out foster youth.

Agnes Stewart began doing Easy Easel Painting parties last year as something fun for herself. Then it occurred to her that there was the potential to help raise money for Heart 2 Heart, a group that helps foster teens learn life skills. She is also a member of the organization.

“I raise a little money each time I do a party,” Stewart said. “But this time 100 percent of what is raised will go to Heart 2 Heart.”

Stewart has done paint parties all over Solano County, but it was her first time at Rockville Corners Fine Italian Cuisine. She said she was surprised at the turnout.

“We planned for 40 people but 34 showed up,” she said. “So that is great.”

The subject of the painting party was a Christmas tree in the evening with a full white moon in the sky. People could paint something else if they wanted to do so. The pictures were meant to be presents for Christmas.

Kennedy Yarbor, 8, loves to paint and has a natural talent for it. Her mother is a volunteer for the foster group and wanted to come support those who have turned 18 and no longer quality for foster care services.

“We have never done anything like this before,” said her mother, Kim Yarbor. “But I saw it on our Facebook page and thought it would be fun.”

Kim Yarbor said she plans to give her picture to someone special for the holiday.

“It’s nice because we’re helping the organization and doing something for Christmas,” she said.

Heart 2 Heart relies on donations from the community to provide services for foster youth that will be going out on their own for the first time. The organization was founded by Jodie Williams. It also works with Child Welfare Services, New Beginnings and other local organizations to get to the young adults before they are transitioned out of the foster care system.

“We provide different services for aged-out foster kids,” said Heart 2 Heart volunteer Tarri Myers.

The easel parties help but they also do many other fundraisers throughout the year. The party brought in roughly $1,100 Sunday, but that doesn’t include money generated by a prize drawing.

“I do a paint party each month, mainly because I love to paint,” Stewart said. “I also love it because everyone’s pictures are unique.”

For more information on Heart 2 Heart, go to www.facebook.com/Heart2HeartSolanoCounty.

Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or shiland@dailyrepublic.net.