Fund-raiser For 3,500 Lake County Girl Scouts

Monday, July 30, 2007

THE PAINTED PENGUIN WESTFIELD SOUTHLAKE GRAND OPENING AUGUST 18-19 BRINGS FUN, CREATIVITY, QUALITY TIME TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

The Painted Penguin paint-it-yourself ceramics store and family activity center featuring painting, beading, and Dino Digs, hosts a weekend community grand opening fund-raiser Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19 at Westfield Southlake, Hobart.

A portion of the weekend's proceeds will be donated to the Girl Scouts of the Calumet Council. The organization, serving 3,500 Girl Scouts in Lake County, among other things, "teaches girls how to set and reach goals, improve decision-making skills, become leaders, appreciate the diversity of others, develop values, and contribute to society".

The weekend community grand opening at the 5,800 square-foot The Painted Penguin, located at on Level 2 in-between Sears and Dick's Sporting Goods, will be held August 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and August 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Participants will select and purchase from shelves full of decorative ceramic and plaster items to paint, such as Disney characters, dragons, dogs, Teddy bears, and, of course, penguins.

They may choose from bins of ceramic beads to make their own jewelry or choose to dig up dinosaur bones like a paleontologist. While creating original works of art to display or wear, to keep or give as gifts, guests can enjoy Penguin Coolers (smoothies from Antarctica!) and a variety of snacks.

At no additional cost they will receive everything they need to finish their projects, including personal, disposable smocks, tips, and techniques. When finished, they take their creations to the special, glass enclosed "Igloo" and watch employees put on a finishing ceramic sealer. They can take their pieces home with them the same day. Projects range in price from $1.95 to $175.

Door prizes, including free painting, beading, and archeological dig parties valued up to $145, refreshments, and other surprises await those who attend the grand opening. Maynard, The Painted Penguin's ambassador, will be on hand to greet participants.

"We believe strongly in giving back to the communities that support us," said Michael Okun, owner of The Painted Penguin in Hobart.

The Painted Penguin in Hobart, the sixth The Painted Penguin franchise or company-owned family activity center, hosts birthday parties and other occasions, and can provide pizza, balloons, and party invitations. Other in-store activities include special outings, school field trips, and corporate team-building events. The Painted Penguin is also mobile, bringing its creative theme to senior citizen homes and park districts.

"It is satisfying to us when children and their parents come here and work together as a family to make something special," said Okun. "There's something about our relaxed atmosphere away from everyday pressures that encourages meaningful conversation as pieces of art are being created. It is a regular occurrence at The Painted Penguin," he said.

Said Michael Nasatir, who founded The Painted Penguin company six years ago, "Everyone loves penguins". Of the relationship between the aquatic, flightless birds and The Painted Penguin, he added: "If penguins could paint, they'd paint at The Painted Penguin." For more information call The Painted Penguin, (219) 791-0005, or visit www.ThePaintedPenguin.com.

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