Have you ever had the opportunity to learn how to blow glass? Until last week, I hadn’t either. Our entire office spent an evening bonding, and supporting our local community at the Banana Factory’s Glass Studio.
Recently, Lehigh Valley Health Network received a large donation from developer J.B. Reilly and his wife, Kathleen. In addition to a new Pediatric Unit and Surgery Suite, the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital will also receive a new lobby… this is where we came in.
Working in conjunction with the Banana Factory, the idea was born of a bright, colorful three piece glass sculpture to be displayed hanging in the new lobby. The goal was to give the community a way to follow the Reilly’s lead and support our local children and hospital. Since every member of our office has children that are important to them; from our own children and grandchildren, to nieces and nephews. A cause like the new Children’s Hospital was one that resonated with us all.
So similar to a “buy a brick campaigns” individuals can “make a magic bean” to contribute in sponsorship of the overall effort. So, we too at Raymond James participated and made “Magic Beans” for the installation.
While some of our staff have participated in glass studio events before, it was my first time… and I was certainly nervous. Fortunately for everyone, the staff and volunteers are professional, encouraging and give you just enough to do to feel accomplished and proud of your creation. You are walked through the process step by step of picking colors, the eventual shape, gathering glass, heating and twirling the bean, adding the colored glass layer and (my favorite part) getting to shape the glass into its final form. While I will definitely stick to my day job and leave the glass blowing to the professionals, I am proud of our office for spending their time and energy in support of our community and its children.
We learned that half of the beans have been accounted for, but they are looking for more participants. The goal is to have all beans made by mid-May so that the installation can be constructed and finalized by the staff at the Glass Studio. Currently about one-third of all beans have been made by LVHN employees, another one-third from business like ours, who want to support their local community, and one-third from individuals all around the valley. If this is something that you’d like to do please reach out to www.BananaFactory.org or AQGlass@artsquest.org for more information.
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