The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

May 24, 2013

Something offered to please everyone's palate

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — “The Palettes of Orleans” is evidently a pretty catchy title. So much so, in fact, that the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce has been forced to happily make a scheduling change.

“We hoped to have this done by June 1, but now I suppose the end of June is more realistic,” said Chamber Director Kathy Blackburn.

Indeed, The Palettes of Orleans is a program sponsored by the Chamber that will help promote businesses and artists throughout the county. Businesses can choose any artist they wish to create a painting on a palette to be displayed in a designated shop.

“The scene can be related to the store, or anything else they want it to be,” Blackburn explained.

Thursday morning at Creekside Floral in Medina, Blackburn showed off the Chamber’s palette. It featured a fishing scene on Oak Orchard River. Creekside owner Mary Lewis, meanwhile, held a blank palette. She said she was looking forward to seeing what her store’s artist eventually created.

“I’d like to see it correlate with the shop, but I also want it to be something that ties in with their creativity, too,” she said.

Lewis is among the 50 palette participants currently signed up for the program. Blackburn said there are a bunch more asking to join in and that is what has caused the delay in calling this phase of the project complete.

“We’ve ordered more palettes because we haven’t hit every area yet,” she said. However, participants are already on board in Albion, Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville, and Medina. Those areas are key because they are also the biggest beneficiaries of the program.

Blackburn explained that this October 13 at Hickory Ridge Golf Course, the Chamber will host an auction. At that time, people will be allowed to bid on their favorite palettes, with portions of the proceeds being divided among the county’s five school districts for use as a scholarship. The amount of the scholarships are to be determined by the amount of money raised at the auction.

Once the palettes are completed, a brochure will be available for customers to use to try to visit each palette location in Orleans County. Each business will also have some sort of sign or poster in its window to designate it as a participant.

The draw of the palette is just one way to increase business, Lewis said.

“Having this program means that different people who may otherwise have never come in here may decide to come look at the palette, but then maybe stay and look around,” she said. She added that the exposure the event will bring to all area businesses is quite valuable.