Though artist Maxwell Sang never met Greta Schoenemann, a Westfield High School student who died in 2002 after she was struck by a falling tree limb, she was inspired to create a series of paintings in the teen's honor.
The run will be held on Sunday, Sept. 15, the 11th anniversary of Schoenemann's passing. Organized by Ben Nanna and Jayne Ruotolo in partnership with the Westfield Y, the 5K will benefit new and existing programs for people with special needs at the Y. The cause was chosen in honor of Greta's sister Elise who has Cerebral Palsy.
"The connection with Greta Shoenemann has become a personal one, even though I never had the privilege of meeting this special person," Sang explained. "Whenever I read about Greta, see her picture, hear about her history, I am deeply affected, and consequently am continuously motivated to work for this cause."
A teacher, Sang said she has taught adults and children with a wide range of talents, abilities and needs.
"Teaching such a diversified population has enriched my life by giving me opportunities to appreciate and respect the sameness and differences among people," she added. "I have tried to contribute to this campaign through my art, by creating and donating an original oil painting of Greta's favorite flower, a white lily."
This 'White Lily' (16"x12"), valued at $600, will be offered as a door prize. The drawing will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7. The winner does not need to be present to claim the painting.
Swain Galleries is located at 703 Watchung Ave. Plainfield. For more information, call 908-756-1707. For more information about Sang and her paintings, visit her website. To learn more about Greta's Run or to register, visit the 5K's website.