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From Our Hearts Organization thanks students for their artwork

May 27, 2014
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Wednesday morning, John and Marcia Thurston along with Beverly Brewer of the From Our Hearts organization presented the 13 winners of the calendar art contest with a framed copy of their artwork.

Each year, From Our Hearts Inc. asks students from Pine Island Elementary School to contribute art for the organization's annual calendar. This year 51 students participated. From those 51 entries, 13 were chosen for the calendar one cover picture and 12 monthly pictures.

"This is a reward and a thank you to the students that developed the artwork that ultimately will be used for the calendar that From Our Hearts will be selling as a fund-raiser," said John Thurston of From Our Hearts. "Last year the artwork was auctioned off during October-Breast to raise additional funds for From Our Hearts."

Article Photos

Fourth-grader Jalene Kobert’s artwork was picked for November in From Our Hearts’s 2015 calendar.

The ceremony was broadcast throughout the school from the students' studio. The entire school watched as Principal Rob Mazzoli introduced and welcomed John and Marcia Thurston and art and music teacher Gloria Van Duzer.

"We have the honor of being able to work with the organization From Our Hearts," Van Duzer said. "Mr. Thurston contacted us about students creating the pictures for this year's calendar which will be sold to benefit the organization. Then the artwork will be auctioned off later this year. The money is used right here on Pine Island and is used for cancer treatment, and I'm very honored and proud to have had our students create this artwork for this cause."

This year's winners:

Each of the 51 students that participated in the contest received a gift certificate for Dairy Queen.

"We are a unique organization in that all of the money raised stays here on Pine Island and Matlacha," John Thurston said. "It been very successful, we've been in existence since 2004 and we've raised since then well over $500,000. We work in conjunction with an organization called Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc. and Lee Memorial Health Care. Partners does the screening of the individuals to determine their eligibility and Lee Memorial HealthCare is the service where the actual mammograms are done along with any treatment. Our primary function is raising money, creating an awareness, and providing a public face for the cause.

"Now that the artwork has been completed we are now ready to accept ads from local merchants," Thurston continued. "We have ad space on every calendar page and this year we added two pages for coupons. The calendars are $10 and will be available at locations all over the island. We will announce those locations in the Eagle."

The community is invited to attend the monthly meetings at the Fire House at Pine Island Center. Meetings are the third Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8 p.m. For information visit



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