Big Brothers Big Sisters benefit from children's handprints

Sunday, January 8, 2006

The lounge is scheduled to open this spring on the Steve and Barry's wing.

White ceramic tiles were laid out on a table in the center of Westfield West Park on Saturday to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.

For a $5 donation, children could make handprints in colorful paint on the tiles, which will be permanently displayed in the hallway leading to the new family lounge at the Steve and Barry's wing. New larger restrooms will accompany the 700-square-foot family lounge, opening this spring.

Third opportunity

This was the third opportunity for children 12 and under to make their handprint in pink, blue, green or purple.

"We had a good turnout Dec. 10 and 17 with about 90 tiles printed. Some were as young as four months old," said Lindsey Meyr, Westfield West Park marketing director.

She explained that infants and younger children took a little more time because of their instinct to keep their hands clenched.

There were some adults and older children who tried their hands up against the tile to see if their hands were small enough that they could make one, but they were too big.

Zackery Piercy of Cape Girardeau got a clear print on the third try. His name and age were then added to the tile.

His mother, Robin, said, "I think it's important to support Big Brothers Big Sisters because it's important for kids without role models to have someone to look up to."

A timeout

Amy Lockhart, a Kennett, Mo., mother of three, was at the mall between soccer games at the Saint Francis Invitational Indoor Soccer Tournament. The group stopped to make handprints just for something to do and for posterity. Amy thought her youngest child, Luke, 5, would be interested to come back and look at his handprint and visit the family lounge. Jennifer, 10 and Jacqueline, 9, just smiled when they discovered the tiles would be displayed later on.

Lockhart said she thought it was important to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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