Big hearts support big trip to Big Apple

Friends of the Van’t Hull family of Albertville are rallying for financial support to send STMA student Wesley Van’t Hull to New York. Left to right are the Van’t Hulls, Keaton, Rebecca, Jon, Rachel, Adam, Gretchen and Wesley. Jon died suddenly of a heart attack just weeks before he was to accompany Wesley on a trip to New York City to receive Wesley’s Scholastic Art Award.

Friends of the Van’t Hull family of Albertville are rallying for financial support to send STMA student Wesley Van’t Hull to New York. Left to right are the Van’t Hulls, Keaton, Rebecca, Jon, Rachel, Adam, Gretchen and Wesley. Jon died suddenly of a heart attack just weeks before he was to accompany Wesley on a trip to New York City to receive Wesley’s Scholastic Art Award.

STMA friends rally for student’s

New York trip after father dies

The St. Michael-Albertville community is rallying to support a student in the wake of tragedy — the sudden loss of the student’s father.

This is an award-winning drawing by STMA student Wesley Van’t Hull. Wesley’s father died suddenly just weeks before he was to accompany his son on a trip to New York to receive Wesley’s Scholastic Art Award, and friends are rallying to raise funds so Wesley can still make the trip.

This is an award-winning drawing by STMA student Wesley Van’t Hull. Wesley’s father died suddenly just weeks before he was to accompany his son on a trip to New York to receive Wesley’s Scholastic Art Award, and friends are rallying to raise funds so Wesley can still make the trip.

Wesley Van’t Hull is a student artist and National Scholastic Art winner and was to accompany his father, Jon, on a trip to receive his award in New York City. Jon tragically and suddenly died of a heart attack just weeks before the New York trip.

Wesley’s teacher, Kari Saathoff-Halker, is organizing financial support so Wesley can still realize his dream trip to New York.

“Wesley is amazing art student,” Saathoff-Halker said. “Jon was an amazing person and very proud of all of his children. With this unfortunate passing the family is in need of some financial support.”

Services for Jon Van’t Hull were Wednesday, May 8, at New Hope Church.

Saathoff-Halker set up link to a fund-raiser site for the family, www.youcaring.com/other/send-wesley-to-carnegie-hall-/57908, with a goal of raising $3,000.

“Please consider helping Wes get to New York with a contribution, don’t let him miss this amazing opportunity,” she wrote in an email to Wesley’s supporters.

Wesley and STMA students Katie Scott and Cortney Woodis each won Scholastic Art awards, which Saathoff-Halker said was exceptionally rare.

“Of the 230,000 submissions to the awards this year, only 1% received national recognition,” she said. “This is a major award for any art student.” Saathoff-Halker’s own son, Harrison Heinks, a middle-schooler in Edina, also won the award, and all four families are planning the New York trip for the end of this month.

Saathoff-Halker also noted the exceptionally rare occasion of two brothers winning National Scholastic Art awards, as Wesley’s older brother, Keaton, also received the award when he was at STMA High School two years ago. She also their father was “an amazing artist.”

“The odds are winning are slim and so many from one school is amazing!” she said. “But brothers both winning shows how truly talented they are.”

The Scholastic Awards are the nation’s largest, longest-running, most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens. During the course of its 90-year history, Scholastic Award winners have included celebrated authors and artists such as Andy  Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Ken Burns, and Joyce Carol Oates.

National Scholastic Award Medalists will be honored in New York City May 31 and June 1. The National Celebration includes a ceremony at Carnegie Hall, an exhibition of selected National Medalist art and writing at Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Manhattan Gallery, and other events to highlight the creative accomplishments

of the talented teens

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards will webcast the National Awards Ceremony live from Carnegie Hall May 31 at 7 p.m. (CST).

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