Local art studio gives back to Friends for Animals Sanctuary


Sample of the work done during the fundraising painting party.

Photo by Mary Brotherton

Local artist, Lori Prell, has a studio in Cocoa Village where she and her dog, Chaz, can be found most days. Lori Prell Studio is a forerunner to the popular painting franchise and she has put her "twist" on painting furry friends.

Katherine Johnson, president for Friends for Animals Sanctuary, left, accepts donation from Cocoa Village business owner, artist Lori Prell on May 21, 2017. PHOTO BY APRIL MCCOY

She contacted Friends for Animals Sanctuary with an idea to raise funds for the 501(c)3 charity organization. Relying on social media and online calendars, Prell and volunteers for the sanctuary promoted the event, which sold out quickly.

Painting our Friends with our Friends for our Friends offered animal lovers the opportunity to spend a few hours sharing snacks, drinks and stories over the backdrop of Prell's professional painting advice. The room quickly filled up with 20 painters, some with no prior painting experience. Once the reservations had been made and people had pre-registered, Prell requested a photo of their pets, which she then turned into a sketch of a character, depicting the animals in various poses.

At the end of the evening, Lori Prell presented a check for $420 to Katherine Johnson, president of the Board of Directors for Friends for Animals Sanctuary.

Animal lovers helped raise more than $400 for Friends for Animals Sanctuary on May 21, 2017. PHOTO BY APRIL MCCOY"We'll have to do this again," Johnson told Prell. "It was so much fun and I have so many other animals I'd like to paint! Words cannot express how happy I am to find caring business people like you who are willing to give back to the community."

Johnson held the check aloft and told the painters, "Because of you, we are one step closer to building this sanctuary."

Although several people attending the event also volunteer with Friends for Animals Sanctuary, most of the painters had not heard of the organization before.

"Thanks to Lori and Facebook, we were able to fill the room tonight and Lori was so kind as to give us this check," Johnson said. "We'll be doing this, again!"

Prell said people who had called after the event had sold out would be put on a waiting list for future events.

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