Second grader determined to donate her painting to help veterans


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SENIOR LIFE DARRELL WOEHLER Katherine Harris is proud of her 7-year-old granddaughter Alannah Arrieta, who is donating proceeds from a raffle of her painting from a Brevard Schools art program to the Veterans Memorial Center.

Darrell Woehler

Seven-year-old Alannah Arrieta is determined to help the “Army men.”

That’s what she said when asked what she wanted to do with money she could make from selling a picture she painted for a Brevard Schools
art program.

It all started when her grandmother, Katherine Harris, showed the child’s painting to a friend who owns Perfectly Polished Boutique, and she offered to hang the picture in her shop on Merritt Island. It already had been displayed at the Cape Canaveral Public Library after it was selected in the school’s art program.

When Harris asked Alannah, a second grader at the Robert Louis Stevenson School of the Arts, if she would agree to sell the picture and what she would do with the money, she wasn’t too surprised by the response.

“‘I would like to give it to the Veterans Memorial Center,’” Harris said the child told her. “I asked her why and she said, ‘Because grandpa Jack and other Army men fight for us so we should help them.’”

Alannah’s 91-year-old great grandfather, John William Harris, is a Navy veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. His portrait hangs in the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, where his account of WWII was recorded for inclusion in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

Harris said Alannah is selling raffle tickets for $1 each and will hold a drawing September 9 for the watercolor painting. The money collected will be donated to the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center.

Donating to a worthy cause is not new to Alannah. Instead of presents for her sixth birthday, she asked to donate cat and dog food to the Brevard County Humane Society.

Alannah’s mother, Christina Arrieta, said her daughter drew the picture with a pencil and then painted it in watercolor while she was in kindergarten.

Tickets for the raffle can be purchased at Perfectly Polished Boutique, 1070 N. Courtenay Parkway on Merritt Island, where the painting is displayed.