These dogs will beautify Pinecrest and raise money for Smart Boards

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfield….

These dogs will beautify Pinecrest and raise money for Smart Boards.

It won’t be long before Village residents will begin seeing beautifully illustrated dogs popping up all over Pinecrest.

The dogs are part of the SmARTy Dogs for Smart Schools campaign to raise money for Smart Boards in the five Pinecrest schools.

Since first seeing a Smart Board about a year ago, Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner has been on a campaign to raise money to get all five Pinecrest schools outfitted with Smart Boards.

“You need it for a 21st Century environment,” Lerner says.

While each school has some boards, Lerner wants to make sure every classroom has a Smart Board. In total, they need about 180 more boards.

“The high school needs the most,” Lerner says.

She kicked off the Smart Boards campaign a year ago at Taste of Pinecrest.

“I have been actively seeking foundation funding, corporate funding, any help I can get,” she says.

So Lerner met with Prince Media Development, the company that ran the peacock campaign in Coconut Grove and the manatee program in South Miami, to develop the SmARTy Dogs campaign.

“I will have dogs in parks in Pinecrest one way or another,” Lerner says with a laugh.

Each of the dogs will be sponsored by an individual or business. There are five types of dogs — a big dog similar to Astro on the Jetsons, a lab, a terrier, a poodle and a bulldog.

“Our big dog is five feet high and is the size of a Shetland pony,” says Heather Bettner, of Prince Media Development, who is coordinating the project. “Our poodle stands 48 inches high. We chose different sizes because we wanted to be sure people who didn’t have a large space in front of their building could still have a dog and we wanted different types of dogs.”

The campaign is looking for sponsors. There is already a list of artists who want to design a dog.

“We will be raising sponsorships for the dogs, getting the artists committee and choosing the dogs,” Lerner says. “We’re hoping that by September we will be putting out the dogs. They will stay out as public art until next March when we do Taste of Pinecrest again.”

At the end of the campaign, the dogs will be auctioned off to the public.

“Everyone’s getting really excited about it,” Lerner says. “It will be a big community wide project.”

Bettner says they have been fortunate because they have a large group of artists who want to be a part of the program.

They dogs will be placed in public right of ways, in each public park and in each school. Each school will receive a dog for the students to design and paint.

“Everyone is so excited. The artists are so excited. They think so much of Pinecrest,” Bettner says.

Sponsors already involved are Williamson Cadillac, Terranova and Pinnacle Housing Group.

“We are confident that we have sponsorship levels for people to participate,” Bettner says.

Organizers hope to raise between $80,000 to $300,000 through the SmARTy Dogs campaign.

“I can’t say enough about Mayor Lerner. Her support and vision have been impeccable,” Bettner says. “She has been wonderful to work with.”

For detail, call Bettner at 305-775-0113.

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