Artist paints for public agencies

A Hood River artist will be selling prints of a painting to commemorate Sept. 11 — and donating the proceeds to local emergency responders.

On Sept. 6, 7 and 11 Barbara Haase will sell “In Remembrance of 9-11” from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wal-Mart. Her intent is to honor the “tireless and heroic efforts” of police, fire and rescue agencies.

“It’s great to see this type of support for our public safety agencies, we’re always looking for additional funding to increase our training and equipment purchases,” said Hood River Fire Marshall Devon Wells.

Haase said the inherent risk in these professions was amplified in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the East Coast. Haase is also dedicating the drawing of the tearful Bald Eagle on the American flag to the men and women in the military who risked their lives in Afghanistan on behalf of their fellow citizens.

“Watching the news I was so touched by everything and it was just something I felt I had to do,” Haase said.

She has footed the bill for the 70 prints that will be sold at a cost of $10 for a laminated 8-by-12-inch and $15 for a framed copy of that same size. For an 11-by-14-inch the fee will be $25 for the laminated version and $40 for a framed edition. Special orders will also be filled without two weeks two larger sizes.

In addition, Haase plans to have buyers autograph a donation list that will be laminated and presented to recipients of the proceeds.

“I don’t think people always realize the dedication of these groups and if something like 9-11 happened here I know they’d be here for us and I wanted to thank them,” Haase said.

Wells said Haase’s donation will help area agencies prepare for any disaster that occurs in the Gorge so these workers can prevent the loss of life.

“Hopefully a Sept. 11 event will never happen here but if it does we’ll be prepared for it and take care of our community because that’s what we are here for,” said Wells.

In addition to Haase’s marketing effort to generate revenue for financially-strapped emergency service providers, she has also sent copies of her work to the East Coast — from the New York fire and police departments to Mayor Rudy Guiliani and even President George W. Bush.

On the homefront she mailed a 11-by-17 print to U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and received a glowing thank you letter in response.

“That was such a sad day for our nation, forever changing all of our lives. This beautiful print will help us never to forget,” wrote Walden.

To date, Haase said Bush is the only recipient of a print that has not tendered a reply — but she doesn’t mind since the top world leader has been “pretty busy” this year.

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