Press Release | April 9, 2010

ASYMCA Installs Student Art & Essay Display at BWI Marshall Airport

Winners of 2009 Student Art and Essay Contest, ASYMCA Operation Kid Comfort Quilt on Display in Concourse C

The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) worked with officials at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to install a display of the 2009 Student Art and Essay Contest winners and a sample of the organization’s Operation Kid Comfort quilts, which are made by volunteers for children of deployed military personnel.

Airport visitors can see the exhibit, located between Concourse C and Concourse D on the upper level of the BWI terminal, on display through August 2010.

The 2010 Art and Essay Contest winners will be announced on May 13 at ASYMCA’s annual recognition and awards luncheon on Capitol Hill.  The 2010 winning pieces will be displayed in the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda in Washington, D.C., before replacing the 2009 winners in the BWI display.

“BWI is a regular point of entry and departure for the brave men and women of our armed services,” said Frank Gallo, national executive director of the ASYMCA. “As we begin April, the Month of the Military Child, this display is a fitting tribute to the thousands of military families that we strive to support with our various programs throughout the year.”

The annual ASYMCA Student Art and Essay contest for children of U.S. service members awards a total of $7,600 in U.S. Savings Bonds to 1st and 2nd place winners of both contests. Participants range in grade from kindergarten to high school seniors and submit original work centered on the themes, “My Military Family” for the art contest and “My Military Hero” for the essay competition. The annual contest is officially launched every November during Military Family Month and is open to all eligible children of U.S. active duty or retired service members.

Operation Kid Comfort is a national ASYMCA program that provides personalized quilts to children of deployed military personal 6 years of age and younger and pillows to children 7 and older. Designed to provide comfort during the often difficult time of separation for military children, the program relies on ASYMCA volunteers who collect photographs of the deployed parent and stitch a transfer of the images into custom-made quilts and pillows.