Well-known regional artist and illustrator William B. (Bill) Bledsoe is a big fan of high school football and a dedicated supporter of CASA for Kids, Inc. CASA for Kids, Inc., headquartered in Kingsport with branches in Bristol and Rogersville, is the United Way agency responsible for providingprofessionally trained and supervised volunteers who advocate for abused and/or neglected children in the Juvenile Court Systems in Sullivan and Hawkins Counties. These two interests have come together in a unique way in his recently completed artwork commemorating the recent Dobyns-Bennett versus Science Hill football game entitled“THE RIVALRY - OCTOBER 26TH 2012.”
“I wanted to do a painting that memorialized the great energy and skill of both the Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill football teams, as well as give support to a local agency that means so much to me personally” said the Jonesborough, Tennessee, artist. Through the help and generosity of Cumberland Marketing, signed and numbered (only 100 numbered prints will ever be made) 18” x 24” prints of the painting, as well as unnumbered artist proofs, will be made available to purchase at The Gift Shop at Eastman Employee Center (423-229-2005). Orders can also be taken by calling CASA at 247-1161, Ext. 13.
Each unframed print will cost $40.00 and proceeds from the sale of the prints will go directly to CASA for Kids, Inc. In addition, the original painting will be auctioned to the highest bidder at the 2013 CASA for Kids Red Shoe Gala to be held at Meadowview Convention Center and Hotel on Saturday, February 16, 2013.
“This is a very generous and thoughtful way of supporting a tremendously important local agency,” said John Sanders, friend of Bledsoe and CASA for Kids, Inc. Board Member. “Although it would be great if we could say it doesn't happen here, the fact is that there are over 12,000 reports of abuse and neglect annually in Sullivan and Hawkins counties alone. With current volunteer and budgetary resources, only about half of the court-referred neglect cases can be addressed by CASA in our area. In addition to being a fantastic work of art in its own right, the proceeds from sale of these prints will help address our unmet need.”
CASA’s goal in 2013 is to lift up the voices and lives of over 600 neglected children. Executive Director Connie Steere relays, “That will only be accomplished with having many FRIENDS of CASA supporting CASA for Kids’ work in one way or another. These prints would be a wonderful last minute Christmas gift for DB football players, family of players and all the DB fans.”
To learn more about CASA, to donate online, volunteer, or contribute in another way, visit the CASA for Kids, Inc. website at www.casa4kidsinc.org.