Creativity abounds at Scarecrows in the Park in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH – Scarecrows have temporarily taken over Riverside Park and will continue to do so through Wednesday as a fund-raiser for the Rotary Club of Vero Beach Oceanside.

Sixteen imaginative entries are on display, primarily themed to their designers’ particular business or organization, and everyone was eager to tell the story behind their creation.

 

“She’s a scarecrowette; Bridgette from Bridges,” said Susan Grandpierre of the demure scarecrow teacher from the Bridges Early Learning Center, reading ‘The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” to two little scarecrow kids.

The inaugural event kicked off the Halloween weekend Friday night with a VIP reception, attended by Rotarians, sponsors and guests, for their inaugural Scarecrows in the Park.

“This is what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth,” said Elizabeth Johnson of her dentist husband Dr. Joe Thomas’ toothy scarecrow.  Pointing out the scarecrow’s overalls she added, “He was in Kansas last week and I think he found them in a thrift store there.”

“He represents the organic garden that we started three weeks ago for our clients,” explained Sun Up Center of Indian River County Executive Director Dennis Bartholomew of a cheerful looking Sunny the Gardner.  Chances are pretty good that Sunny will soon be watching over their well-tended crops.

Central Window owners Larry and Maureen Labadie built their stained-glass adorned scarecrow, Bring in a Sample Sally, out of windows, screens, mirrors and an assortment of parts.

“We’re always telling people to bring in a sample when they ask if we have a particular part,” explained Club President Maureen Labadie.  “The people in the shop had the best time; it was a joint effort.  We enjoyed doing it together.”

Blondies on Ocean owner Trish Hickey-Reid fashioned the lovely Blonde Hilda with her usual stylish flair.  A mannequin from the store was bedecked and bedazzled with glittery glasses, glow in the dark eyes and, of course, a blond wig gracing a lipsticked skull.

“I wanted her to be a chic scarecrow; scary fashionable,” said Hickey-Reid.

“She’s so ugly she’s pretty,” said a woman to her friend as they passed by.

Wearing blue scrubs and a stethoscope, the scarecrow dog Dr. Barkley, was representing the Florida Veterinary League.

“I told him it looked like him, so he suggested putting glasses on it,” said Susan Horn of her husband Dr. Darrell Horn.  “He’s wearing Darrell’s favorite scrubs.”

Vero Beach Sunrise Rotary took a more serious approach with a display called All About Polio that they had filled with medical apparatus, including a headless scarecrow propped up by crutches and a wheelchair.  A Rotary project that began in 1987 has been raising funds to help eradicate polio throughout the world.

Another blonde, a beauty queen this time, was showing off the secrets to her lovely complexion and plumped up (candy) lips.  Oops, Dr. John McDonald had left in the needles of “Botox” and “Restylane” on thir Beauty is only Skin Deep charmer.

“We were at Walgreens at midnight,” laughed Mary Beth McDonald.  “He asked where I was going, and I said she needed fake eyelashes.”

“Her flowers came from Always in Bloom,” said Mary Beth of the lovely bouquet of yellow roses cradled in the beauty queen’s arms.  “I asked Greg if he had any old flowers I could use, and he gave me these; he said it was his gift to the Rotary Club.”

One of the more striking entries was Trick or Trash, created by talented local artist Stacey Ekey for the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.  Ekey collected the items used to make her piece from our beaches.   Even the chair the trashy guy was sitting on, which was found by HBOI’s Carol Harwood, had been regurgitated by the sea.

“It took just two hours a day over two days,” said Ekey.  I didn’t even walk a full-half mile each day.”  Pointing to the display Ekey added, “That’s probably at least 60 pounds of garbage.”

“It’s just shocking to me that you found all this in such a short time,” exclaimed Susan Smith.

“And every little piece has a story,” added Clair Brunetti.

The display will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 3.  Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.  Suggested entry is $1 per person; free for children under five.

Proceeds will benefit several charities chosen by Rotary Club of Vero Beach Oceanside, including SafeSpace, The Sun Up Center of Indian River, and others. {igallery 287}

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