STRIVE Rocks 2019: fundraising through art


    This weekend is the biggest fundraiser of the year for STRIVE. STRIVE serves teens, tweens and young adults with intellectual disabilities in South Portland. (WGME)

    SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) — STRIVE serves teens, tweens and young adults with intellectual disabilities in South Portland.

    This weekend is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the organization called STRIVE ROCKS!

    Charlie Mercer and Bennett Agnew have been working together to raise money for STRIVE for the last several years.

    Bennett is a man of many talents, but he’s best known for creating art.

    “Well, I use black sharpie and make it colorful,” says Bennett Agnew, artist and STRIVE alumni.

    This year the duo is working to raise $25,000 for STRIVE.

    In the last 6 years they’ve raised $150,000 through Bennett’s creations.

    That money keeps the organization up and running.

    “One of the things that makes STRIVE different is that it’s located right here in Maine so when you give to STRIVE, when you donate to STRIVE you know you’re helping Maine people,” says Charles Mercer, volunteer with STRIVE.

    It’s a simple idea that’s created an incredible impact.

    “You see your dollars going to work immediately and that’s why we’re so invested,” says Mercer.

    They wouldn’t be able to do it without Bennett who has been going to STRIVE programs since he was 8-years-old.

    “He has his own apartment now. It’s in the West End of Portland. He’s got a job he goes to several times a week and he really has done well for someone who has an intellectual disability,” says Mercer.

    You’ll know it’s Bennett’s artwork by looking in the corner where he puts his initials – BA.

    Bennett is a man who turned a passion for art into a difference maker for a program that has been such a difference in his life.

    If you would like to help Charlie and Bennett reach their fundraising goal of $25,000 you can donate during the event or make an early donation by clicking here.

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