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The Power of George Washington: A Bus Tale

Mary Merrick recounts a story about the power of giving to the Friends Transportation Fund

Long-time docent, former Friends Board member, and active volunteer Mary Merrick has witnessed firsthand the power of art experienced by children brought to Mia by Friends funded school buses, and she has a heart-warming story to share.

I welcomed  a second grade class, ethnically diverse and full of energy, for a safari tour of Mia.  We looked at objects throughout the collection (climbing as many stairs as possible) and as we traveled from the Benin Leopard to the Chinese pig sty and cricket cages and Picasso’s Baboon, the class clown and the  college level brainiac quickly revealed themselves.  Kids at this age are eager to share but two or three girls kept to themselves at the back of the group and one especially was reluctant to even make eye contact.  We walked along single file on the third floor and the group gathered at the Thomas Sully portrait of George Washington. That very shy young Somali girl actually pushed herself to the front and was alive with excitement as she exclaimed “ I know who this is, I know who this is!   It’s our First President, George Washington!”  With little prompting she proceeded to tell us all about George with a very big confident smile, and became part of the group as we explored all the symbolism in the painting.   As we moved on, the little girl and her friends were now at the front of the line with their classmates cheerfully falling in behind.   I couldn’t help but think to myself that George must be smiling as he continues to inspire and unite. I marveled at my good fortune at witnessing the Power of Art—and the power of the Friends—first hand.”

Join Mary Merrick—be a friend, honor a friend, celebrate a friend, or remember a friend by buying a bus and bringing 45 students to Mia.

Contact the Friends Office at 612.870.3045 to buy a bus for $200, or a wheel on the bus for $50.  You’ll receive a miniature yellow school bus to present to your recipient (or yourself)!