LHS Sophomore Paints for a Cause


Aydin DiBell, Editor

Lakeview sophomore Meliah Persino has won 1st Place in The Salvation Army’s “Art of the Red Kettle” event. Students from local schools chose a day from “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to decorate the front side of the kettle and their school logo on the back. Kettles were displayed at the Eastwood Mall in early November. A community vote was taken at the Red Kettle Kick Off on November 12th, and Persino was the winner of that vote. She will be Ringing the Bell and collecting donations in her kettle to benefit The Salvation Army Friday, December 9th from 4-8pm at Howland Giant Eagle. 

The next part of the contest is to see who can raise the most money in their kettle during that particular time. 

Persino spent a considerable amount of time painting the kettle. I estimate that I put in about 10 hours just painting,” said Persino. “I started in mid-October and worked a little each day until finished.”

In getting started, she got a little help with some inspiration. Persino explained, “Mr. Piper found me a picture of what I was thinking of doing and I used that for my inspiration.” 

Already an artist, Persino owned the supplies and tools needed to complete the kettle. “I did all my work at home where I already had the brushes and paint I needed to finish the project,” Persino added. 

Persino was chosen as the artist for this project by Lakeview High School art teacher Jeff Piper. 

Piper said, “Meliah has been titled gifted in the visual arts and has really demonstrated why this year in my Art 1 course. She is extremely talented. We did a project earlier this year where she rendered her dogs through collage and paint and knocked both out of the park. More specifically, that project is why I thought of her to be the artist to render a Bulldog onto the Kettle.”

This collaboration with The Salvation Army is not the first time Lakeview students have helped the community through their art. One of the most visible projects was the Bulldog painting on the snow plow a few years back. Piper revealed that at least one other project is currently in the works. 

Piper shared, “We are often given opportunities for our students to create artwork for community projects.  In addition to the Salvation Army Kettle Competition we are helping Lake Vista Assisted Living to transform their clubhouse into a Gingerbread House this holiday season.

While the community groups of course benefit from the art students’ participation in these events, the benefit to the students is substantial, as well. 

Piper explained, “Students not only receive community service hours for their efforts,  but also community recognition and a great deal of pride for their accomplishments. I think it’s important for our youth today to be involved with their community to give them a sense of connection with their local culture.

From the art teacher’s perspective, Piper shared how he feels about these collaborations, “It is always refreshing to have a student who is willing and enjoys giving up some of their personal time to do something creative and challenging.”

The Bulldog Bulletin asks all Bulldogs to venture down to Howland territory to support Persino in her collection on Friday from 4-8.