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Friday July 4th, 2014

Posted at 6:18pm

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Youth paint a family-focused mural on the alley wall of The Pie Lady in Harrow on July 3. (Photo: Town of Essex)

Local youth were busy this week in Harrow painting a family focused mural based with a Harrow Fair theme on the alley wall of The Pie Lady, ocated at 21 King Street East.

Working with Wanda Rogrigues, Voices of Youth in Community Coordinator for Access County Community Support Services, the 11 participants that assisted with mural preparations on July 2nd grew to 14 youth from Harrow, Kingsville, Leamington and Tecumseh by July 3rd.

“It’s about allowing youth to use their talents to create something positive in their community and their own lives,” said Rodrigues, who is overseeing the project. “In everything we do, we try to create a positive impact in the community and we open the door to allow others to join in. That way the community takes a sense of pride in the work.”

Voices of Youth in Community (VOYC), an ACCESS program developed four years ago and funded by United Way Windsor-Essex, coordinated the painting of four large wall murals behind Merlis’ Coffeehouse in Kingsville last summer. The idea for a mural in Harrow originated with Marilyn McLean, a member of the Town’s Mural Committee, who identified the space and helped shape the mural concept.

“Our Mural Committee continues to look for opportunities to expand the mural program that originated in Essex Centre,” says Doug Sweet, Director of Community Services. “We’re excited to have a new mural in our community and we’re especially happy to have youth leadership and participation.”

The Harrow Branch of TD Canada Trust, which shares the alley with The Pie Lady, provided a $500 grant to Voices of Youth in Community to assist with costs.

Rodrigues says there’s still space on the wall for additional murals, which may paint the way to a larger Harrow Back Alley Beautification Project in future.

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