Kids art show raises $10k for early childhood organization |

Kids art show raises $10k for early childhood organization

Lauren Blair

Six-year-old Ashlynd Hippely displays her first-place piece from the Cherish the Little Things art show at Sandrock Elementary School on Monday. Her artwork will grace the cover of the upcoming Connections 4 Kids calendar.

— Six-year-old Ashlynd Hippely may be young, but her artistic efforts apparently captured the hearts of many Craig residents at the Cherish the Little Things art show Feb. 12 to 14.

Hippely took first prize out of 20 finalists selected from more than 300 pieces of artwork made by almost as many Moffat County children and teens. Approximately 930 people attended the show, which was sponsored by Connections 4 Kids at the Center of Craig.

Viewers of the artwork were encouraged to vote by donation for their favorite piece among the 20 finalists, which were selected by judges from the kindergarten through fifth-grade entries before the show opened. Hippely's winning piece will be featured on the cover of the Connections 4 Kids calendar for the 2015-16 school year, which highlights important dates and events for Moffat County families.

The next top 12 winners will be featured each month in the calendar year.

The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit, which supports early childhood services in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties in Northwest Colorado. The art show brought in $10,300 with more donations still trickling in.

"I thought it went really, really well," said Connections 4 Kids Coordinator Betsy Overton. "We raised more money this year than we did last year… We use this money for our programs, but it's nonrestricted money and that's what's nice about it."

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The organization is also supported by grants and state funding, which are often earmarked for very specific uses.

Though only in kindergarten, Hippely has impressed her art teacher, Jill Lindstrom, at Sandrock Elementary School.

"She's real conscientious, she works really hard," Lindstrom said. "She's a very creative little girl."

Hippely completed her piece in Lindstrom's class and was inspired by the children's book, "Rainbow Fish," by Marcus Pfister. The young artist used watercolor, crayons and other paints to create her work, and said she especially enjoys painting.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Top 20 Finalists

• Kennedy Kostur, preschool, East Elementary

• Brody Doolin, preschool, Eagles Nest

• Jennavecia Hyer, preschool, Early Childhood Center

• Natalia Quezada, preschool, Early Childhood Center

• Ashlynd Hippely, kindergarten, Sandrock Elementary

• Serenity Stettler, kindergarten, Sandrock Elementary

• Michelle Baysinger, first grade, East Elementary

• Kali Watson, first grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Colt Call, second grade, Ridgeview Elementary

• Mya Thompson, second grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Matthew Loyd, third grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Evan Lesperance, third grade, Sunset Elementary

• Nevada Reno, third grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Carlos Silva-Torres, fourth grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Aubreigh Cramblett, fourth grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Eowyn Phelps, fourth grade, Sunset Elementary

• Cody Boswell, fourth grade, Ridgeview Elementary

• Halle Hamilton, fifth grade, East Elementary

• Yamelit Robles, fifth grade, Sandrock Elementary

• Nathan Dewald, fifth grade, Sandrock Elementary