By Alex Edel
Catie Yagher â10 has experienced the realities of the effects of heart conditions. Before she was born, her grandfather died due to clogged valves that lead to a heart attack. At two years old, her cousin, Matthew Yagher, had open heart surgery to repair a hole in his septum. Inspired by these events, Yagher is holding a charity event, Art for the Heart, to benefit the American Heart Association.
Art for the Heart will be held on March 8 at 5 p.m. in the Feldman Horn Gallery. Donated student and faculty art will be on display for purchase along with Art for the Heart t-shirts and Tiffany heart necklaces.
The money made at the event will be given to the American Heart Association to finance the research necessary to reduce the number of deaths each year due to heart related tragedies.
To spread more awareness about the event there will be a kick off at break on March 2, the monday before the event with food and information regarding the charity.
“I would have known my grandfather if medical information had been further along during the time of his life,” Yagher said.
The American Heart Association is now giving grants to scientists to help research ideas like which molecules help in the bodyâs processing of dietary fat or which mental and physical exercises can ease the pain after heart surgery.
Yagher was also inspired by the figure drawing class she attended at Otis College of Art and Design. At the end of the summer her parents took her best paintings and had them framed and hung in her house.
“This confirmed my idea that if parents frame student artwork and put it in their houses it can look really good,” Yagher said. Aaron Brothers will be taking orders for frames at the event so that buyers may do the same with their art.
After realizing the potential of selling artwork that would otherwise be stuck in the back of a closet, Yagher started working on the charity event.
Starting only two weeks after school started, Yagher put her homework aside and worked on coming up with a proposal and speech that she had to present in front of the planning committee. The planning committee is a group of adults who decide on the events the school will hold and the liability issues involved with them.
“It was a bit nerve-racking at first; however, they were very friendly and accepted the proposal,” Yagher said.
Under Director of Student Affairs Jordan Churchâs supervision, Yagher found a CFO, Jordan Flatt â09, to help her come up with a budget.
She has also been working with Community Council to find a way for people who are working on the event to get community service credit.
Students who work on the event will have to work one-on-one with children at a hospital affiliated with the American Heart Association. Working with Julie Klayman, an American Heart Association representative, Yagher has been able to organize a hospital visit to meet children with heart conditions.
Yagher sent out an e-mail to all students in art classes and in the first meeting asked students to join leadership committees.
“It is difficult to release your new idea to the public and allow others to contribute because early on, human instinct compels you to hold tight to your invention,” Yagher said. “However, Mr. Levin and Mr. Church inspired me to get others just as excited about Art for the Heart as I am.”
Some subcommittees include promotion, t-shirt production, donation collection, faculty communications and parent communications. Students in the promotion committee put up fliers on campus and students in t-shirt production have come up with a design. Olivia Van Iderstine â10 has been helping with communication and Jacqi Lee â10 has designed part of the logo.
“Art for the Heart is a unique opportunity for students to showcase their talent in art,” Yagher said. “Parents will be able to see the true artistic talent of the student body.”