CASSTOWN — Miami East High School senior Kiera Fellers will always have the local law firm’s “Tiger” on her side or at least on the front cover of Dyer, Garofalo, Mann and Schultz’s annual safety calendar this year.
On Wednesday, Fellers was honored for her artwork by attorneys Mike Dyer and Doug Mann, best known as the litigating “tigers”of law firm partners of Dyer, Garofalo, Mann and Schultz of Dayton.
It was the fifth year for the law firm’s annual safety-themed calender, which features artwork from dozens of students from schools around the Miami Valley.
Fellers’ picture of the law firm’s signature “tiger” mascot is featured on the cover of the 2016 calendar as well as the month of March encouraging those to “Be Alert. Accidents hurt!” tag line.
“It’s truly amazing. I’m so excited that I’m actually on the cover of it. It was so much fun to do,” Fellers said.
For her efforts, Fellers won $250 for herself and $1,000 for her art teacher Noelle Mumpower-Davis’ classroom for art supplies. Mike Dyer shared that the law firm has awarded $20,000 in prize money to schools and their students during the five years of the annual calender contest.
Fellers shared that her money will likely be spent when she leaves for Florida during Christmas break. Fellers is the daughter of Monica and Brad Fellers.
Mumpower-Davis said she will use it for something a little extra for the students.
“We’ll use it for something above and beyond our budget,” Mumpower-Davis said Wednesday.
She also shared how it was the first time anyone in her class had entered the contest. Mumpower-Davis said she approached Fellers to enter the contest because of her talent and knew she would do a great job, and both were thrilled to win the contest.
Dyer shared how he got the idea for the calender several years ago after he handed a settlement check to a client who was an art teacher involved in an automobile accident. Dyer said the amount was a few thousand dollars and he was confused when his young client burst into tears. He shared how she told him how she would use the funds to purchase art supplies for her classroom. With her classroom budget cut, her students were simply drawing with basic supplies such as pencils and plain paper notebooks.
“I realized how when society starts cutting education expenses, the places where they cut it is art and music,” Dyer said. “Since my daughter is an artist, I thought it it would be a fun thing do for the schools, to promote safety, it promotes us — it’s kind of a win, win, win.”
The law firm chose 12 art entries, including Fellers’ piece, from 65 area schools from the Dayton area from Oxford to Piqua. More than $15,000 in prize money was awarded to the winning student’s respective school art departments as well as the individual student this December.
The law firm prints more than 30,000 calendars, which are distributed among their 13 law offices around the Miami Valley and Tri-state region.
“It is important for us to support our local schools and the arts programs,” Mann said in a press release. “Our goal is to promote safety awareness and the safety calendar is a great way to get the word out. Each year the students show amazing creativity and this year we have a very impressive calendar.”
The firm’s 2016 calendar can be downloaded and viewed online at www.ohiotiger.com.
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews