DARLINGTON—Local student artwork helped raise $2,400 for the Green County Humane Society in Monroe.
Two Darlington students and one Black Hawk student participated in Pawlapalooza, the third annual fundraising auction to benefit the humane society. Greg Bykowski, art teacher at Darlington High School, said DHS has participated in the fundraiser all three years; Jessica Axon, art teacher at Black Hawk High School, said BHHS has only participated the last two years.
Kevin Indergand, one of the organizers of Pawlapalooza, said three schools participated this year: Darlington, Black Hawk and Monroe. In past years New Glarus, Brodhead and Albany also took part. Each participating school sends in drawings and four designs are chosen to be painted on a plaster mold of a cat or dog.
The Black Hawk participant was sophomore Cheyenne Winslow. Her cat design was a combination of a lion, tiger and a cheetah and was auctioned off to Ruda Toyota in Monroe for $700.
“When I looked at the design I thought of a cat hunting a mouse, which made me think of a big cat, so I designed them all together,” Winslow said.
She was prompted by Axon during art club after school to submit a drawing for Pawlapalooza.
“I thought it was a good idea,” Winslow said. “I really like painting, so it was fun. It’s going for a good cause, too.”
This year Darlington had two students chosen to participate: sophomore Jena Foulker and senior Amelie Gammeter. Foulker’s “Alice in Wonderland” theme was painted on a Bassett hound that was auctioned off to Nick Maxwell, a doctor in Monroe, for $600. Foulker said she chose the theme of the movie because it is a creative movie and people generally know it and like it.
Gammeter’s Swiss St. Bernard was a special selection by the Pawlapalooza committee. The piece was auctioned off for $1,100, the most a single piece has raised. Colony Brands in Monroe purchased the piece which is now located in the company’s main lobby. Gammeter said she chose the theme because of her family’s Swiss heritage and because she enjoys attending Cheese Days in Monroe.
The process started in January when the schools were contacted by Indergand to start the designing process. In February the selections were made and the plaster molds of dogs and cats were ordered, arriving at the schools at the end of February. The participants had nearly three months to complete the painting on the mold.
“When you get it, it’s just big and white,” Bykowski said. “It takes a lot of time to paint it. They started working on it in class, but eventually they have to take it home to finish it.”
Indergand said Pawlapalooza initially started during a brainstorming session of the Green County Leaders Program. He and five others decided they wanted to do a project to support the humane society. They started a wine event that was a little different than others, called Heavy Hors d’oeuvres, which included a raffle. He said they raise approximately $10,000 each year from the raffle alone.
“We wanted to be able to auction something off the night of the event,” Indergand said. “I knew about the fiberglass cows Madison and New Glarus have and found the company that did it out of Chicago. I checked to see if they had dogs and cats and they did. We wanted to get local people to design them and then auction them off. We decided to get high school students involved, reaching out further to get kids included as well.”
This year the event raised approximately $18,000. In the last three years approximately $65,000 has been donated to the humane society through Pawlapalooza. Indergand said the money is strictly to help with supplies and equipment for the animals. The 2012 event took place on May 19 at the Monroe Country Club.