ATHENS-A budding tree. A dove flying in the sunlight. A pair of hands holding an origami swallow.
These are expressions of hope students from local schools created to encourage those battling cancer and to
encourage their caregivers.
The Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission recently accepted art entries based on the theme “Sharing HOPE” for
its fall/winter art contest for the City Hall Art Corner. The Youth Commission is composed of students in grades
10-12 from Athens High, Athens Bible, Lindsay Lane Christian and home-schools in Athens. Students learn
about civic responsibility and community service.
The first-place winner in the elementary division was Jareth Paz Perez, a third grader from Athens Elementary
who submitted the dove piece. The first-place winner in the 6-12 grade division was Isabella Adams, age 16,
from Elkmont High School. She created a budding, hopeful tree wrapped in a cancer awareness ribbon. Jareth
and Isabella will each receive $15 from the Youth Commission.
Cherry Hammonds, Senior Development Manager II with the American Cancer Society, works with the Relay for
Life Teams in Limestone County. She said the artwork and messages from the students highlight the caring they
have for those battling cancer and their loved ones.
“Their caring knows no boundaries,” Hammonds said. “The gift of hope and kindness is evident in the incredible
artwork submitted by these students. I’m thankful for their spirt and energy, and I know they are just beginning to
make a difference.”
In addition to the first-place winners, the second and third place winners and other top scoring pieces will be on
display at the City Hall Art Corner from Nov. 6 through February 2024.
“The Youth Commissioners had a difficult time choosing the Top 3 in each age group,” said Youth Commission
mentor and City of Athens Relay for Life Team Captain Holly Hollman. “The student artists each had a unique
perspective on how to convey messages of hope through art.”
The public can view the artwork Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Art Corner is in the front foyer.
The City of Athens Relay Team will have a Hope Chain as part of the art exhibit, where those who want to honor
a loved one impacted by cancer can donate $5 to include the loved one’s name on the chain. To donate and
submit a name, call Kim Glaze at 256-233-8730 or email Hollman firstname.lastname@example.org . All proceeds will go to
the American Cancer Society.
List of Top 3 Winners
First, Jareth Paz Perez, third grade, Athens Elementary
Second, Willa Gibson, first grade, Athens Elementary
Third, Alice Gibson, first grade, Athens Elementary
6-12 Grade Division:
First, Isabella Adams, 16, Elkmont High
Second, Zoey Powers, 14, Athens High
Third, Jaxon Williams, 11, Athens Middle