Originally created 06/02/01

Fund-raisers



Red, black and yellow may be the Augusta Stallions' team colors, but if fans prefer to wear their favorite team's logo in blue, no problem.

The St. Paul's Episcopal Church youth group will gladly oblige.

Their face-painting and the F.R.O.G. campaign at St. John's United Methodist Church in Aiken are among fun fund-raisers area youths use.

On a table near the ticket window at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, some six to eight St. Paul's youths set up their paints and vinyl templates about an hour before a game. A steady stream of patrons, mostly children with parents in tow, stop by up until kickoff at 7:10 p.m.

Adults like to watch, said the Rev. Bruce Walker, associate rector and youth pastor. Face-painting "is a little bit tricky. Even with the template, there is a technique."

Contributions are free-will. Some fans, such as a soldier at Fort Gordon, donate not to get their faces painted.

The money goes for "fun stuff," such as canoeing down the Savannah River, ice-skating excursions or camping on Hunting Island, S.C.

St. Paul's youths are the team's "official" painters for the Stallions' eight home games during the 2001 season, which ends in July. Arts in the Heart of Augusta veterans, they were recommended by the Arts Council when the Stallions' administrative staff was looking for face painters, said the Rev. Walker.

After kickoff, the youth clean up their table and follow the crowd into the game. The experience is good and more fun than the usual ways of raising money, said the Rev. Walker. He and the youths will be at their post June 16 when the Stallions face the Richmond Speed.

This is the second year youths from St. John's have "frogged" members in their congregation. For a $15 donation, the church's fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders and their parents will steal into yards of unsuspecting St. John's members and plant 16 to 20 of the foot-high plywood frogs.

The frogs "are green, of course," and adorned with purple bow ties, said Frances Osteen, youth leader.

The children retrieve the frogs after two or three days but ask for an optional $10 removal fee. They also will pick them up sooner for $10.

Insurance to keep the frogs out is available for $25.

Last year a woman called and offered to pay extra to have the smiling frogs removed and replanted in her neighbor's yard, Mrs. Osteen said.

The youths mostly limit their endeavors to members of the congregation. "Outside the church, people could get shocked," said Mrs. Osteen,whose husband, John, cut out the frogs for the youths to paint last year.

A few people have not enjoyed their shower of frogs, "but most have loved it," she said. "Occasionally we make a mistake and put them in the wrong yard, but people are real sweet."

Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or vanorton@augustachronicle.com.