Flamingos were purchased with grants from the Warren City Schools Foundation.
By AMANDA GARRETT
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- From traditional flaming pink plumage to birds robed in Darth Vader black, plastic flamingos of every color were on display at Garfield Elementary.
The school's "Flamingos for Families" event on Thursday night auctioned off 100 birds decorated by Garfield pupils and staff to benefit the Warren Family Mission.
The event was part of Garfield's annual art show, which had a theme of "A-B-C ... Art Builds Character."
"It's art that benefits the community," said Garfield art teacher Judy Sullivan, who coordinated the project. "Students learned that art isn't just for personal gain -- you don't make a piece and then put the money in your pocket. You can use art to help others as well."
The project began in February when all second-, third- and fourth-graders were asked to make drawings of their ideas for decorating the flamingos, Sullivan said. From those drawings, Sullivan chose the six best ideas from each class and gave those pupils flamingos to take home and decorate.
"We received grants from the Warren City Schools Foundation to buy the flamingos, but families provided a lot of the materials," she said. "It's unbelievable how much parents helped with buying the materials and decorating the flamingos."
Second-grader Parker Stanislaw decked out his scarlet and gray bird with a matching football, helmet and tennis shoes in tribute to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"They're my favorite team," said Parker, who was dressed from head to toe in Buckeyes regalia. "I want to play quarterback for them, just like Troy Smith."
Garfield teacher Linda Gimbel also had a Buckeyes theme for her bird, who had the unmistakable horned-rimmed glasses, scarlet tie and Ohio State cap of legendary coach Woody Hayes.
"If you know Woody, you know that looks just like him," she said.
Twins John and Constantine Payiavlas had every color of the rainbow in their flamingos.
"It took a lot of work," said Constantine of his "Mosaic Flamingo," which sparkled with intricately beaded rhinestones.
John's bright blue flamingo was ready for a tropical vacation, complete with Bermuda shorts, a life buoy and sea shells.
"I made it because I like to go to Florida," he said. "We go there every year on vacation."
Dimitri Callow's "Flag-Mingo" was also inspired by his love of travel. The blue and white bird was decorated with a large Greek flag and smaller flags from other countries.
"I made the Greek flag the largest because that's where my family is from," he said. "My grandpa lives in Greece by the sea, and it's a really fun place to go."