Painting for a Purpose session to benefit Relay for Life

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Carmel Painting with a Twist owner Jeanne Shirley raised $810 for the Vera Bradley Foundation at a recent fundraiser. (Submitted photo)

Carmel Painting with a Twist owner Jeanne Shirley raised $810 for the Vera Bradley Foundation at a recent fundraiser. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

Since opening Painting with a Twist five months ago, owner Jeanne Shirley has made her mark in the Carmel community, raising about $4,000 for a variety of charities.

The philanthropic efforts will continue this month with a Painting for a Purpose session benefiting Carmel Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society. Miranda Thomas will serve as the instructor, guiding participants through a step-by-step process as they create a masterpiece. Shirley describes it as a paint by numbers without the numbers.

“Everyone leaves with a finished product,” Shirley said. “The majority of the people have never painted before. They’re amazed at the end of the class how great their painting looks.”

The root of the Painting with a Twist business model is based on giving back.

Two women from New Orleans started the business in 2007 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in 2005.

“These two ladies who were friends got together with their girlfriends and they would do speed painting,” Shirley said. “They would donate money and would give to a different charity every time they got together. It snowballed into people wanting them to continue. So they got a studio and then they had four studios around New Orleans.”

By demand of others who moved away out of state, Painting with a Twist started opening franchises in 2009 and has kept growing.

Every month each Painting with a Twist franchise partners with a local nonprofit. The Carmel business has held events for the Vera Bradley Foundation and Carmel’s Little Star Center for autistic children. The Relay for Life benefit will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 30. The cost is $35 per person for ages 16 and older.

“Our goal is to fill 42 seats. We’ve done that for about half the fundraisers,” Shirley said. “I give 50 percent of what we make to that organization.”

Shirley said the nonprofit supporters can bond and network during the session.

“They get a little momentum from that event,” Shirley said.

IF YOU GO

What: Painting for a Purpose benefiting Carmel Relay for Life

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 30

Where: 301 E. Carmel Dr.

Cost: $35 per person for ages 16 and older

More info: www.paintingwithatwist.com/carmel

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