Effort will benefit foundation
Ice plant to be transformed by colorful mural
By Lynn R. Parks
Since its construction in 1958, the south-facing cement block wall
of the Seaford Ice Plant has been just that: a cement block wall.
And that is something that the Delmarva Sign Association intends
On April 29, volunteers with the association will paint three scenes
on the 100-foot by 16-foot wall. Art students from Seaford High
School will paint another scene. Proceeds from mural sponsorships
will go to the Kaitlin Marie Bell Foundation, which helps families
of disabled children with medical and equipment expenses.
"We hope to raise between $10,000 and $12,000," said Sylvia Brohawn,
owner of Sly Designs, Seaford, and a member of the Delmarva Sign
"That will mean a lot," said Becky Bell, Seaford, secretary-treasurer
of the foundation. "People have no idea how expensive special equipment
is for special-needs children." A wheelchair can cost $5,000 and
a collapsible chair made to support a child who has trouble sitting
can cost up to $2,000, she said.
Kaitlin Bell, Becky's granddaughter, was born in June 1994. At the
age of 13 months, she suffered a severe head
injury in a car accident that killed her mother. Doctors at Children's
Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told the child's father, James Bell,
that she would never again be aware of her surroundings.
"They said that she would never eat and that she would never walk,"
said Becky Bell. "But before her death, she was able to eat and
was very aware of her surroundings. And she was able to walk in
a special walker."
Kaitlin died Aug. 15, 1998, when she was 4 years old. The foundation,
of which her father is president and her stepmother, Teisha, vice
president, was formed shortly thereafter to "help improve the quality
of life for other special needs children who could also benefit
from services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy,
or from special equipment such as chairs, walkers and standers."
Since its start, it has helped two children, one who needed a special
chair and the other who needed a ventilator upgrade.
"A little thing like going to your work to pick up your paycheck
is a small thing for most of us, but it can certainly be a burden
for a parent with a special-needs child. We want to make the parents'
life easier and make things more comfortable for the child," said
year, the 35-member Delmarva Sign Company, founded about 18 months
ago, painted a mural on a bare wall at the corner of US 13 and Main
Street in Salisbury. Proceeds from that project, which amounted to
a little over $8,000, benefited 17 athletes with the Lower Shore chapter
of Special Olympics.
"We want to help a localized charity," said Brohawn. Her group decided
on the Bell Foundation when Brohawn's sister, Ursula Holland, a nurse
in the intensive care unit of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and a friend
of Bell's, suggested it.
Brohawn called Mark Bryan, owner of the ice plant, and asked that
he allow the group to paint a mural on the white ice plant wall. He
was so taken with the project that not only did he give permission,
he ended up donating $1,200 to the Bell Foundation.
"He could [rent] that wall for billboards," said Seaford mayor Dan
Short, who has volunteered to help paint. Billboards rent for up to
$500 a month and there is room on the wall for four large signs, Short
said. "Or he could advertise his other business [Harborhouse Seafood]
up there. Instead, he is donating it to support the foundation and
support the town."
The mural will be painted in durable oil-base sign writer's paint,
said Sly Designs employee Travis Heinicke. One section will depict
the Woodland Ferry and another the ice plant. The third section will
represent the Nanticoke Little League association. Designs are by
sign association members Wally Makuchal, Girdletree, Md., Jeff Davis,
Ocean Pines, Md., and Heinicke. The design of the fourth, to be painted
by the SHS students, has yet to be decided; sign association members
have suggested the Ross Mansion.
"You can see that wall for a quarter mile," said Bryan. "The mural
will be very visible."
"It will be very vibrant colors," added Heinicke. "It will jump."
Ice blocks in the ice plant mural will feature the names of sponsors
who have given $250. Smaller blocks around the border of the mural
will have the names of $50 sponsors.
For $5, members of the community will be allowed to write their names
in a "graffiti corner." A brass plaque, to be installed by the sign
association, will read, "The Delmarva Sign Association, benefiting
the Kaitlin Marie Bell Foundation, presents Wall Day 2000."
"We will need another wall next year," said Brohawn.
"We would like this to become like a yearly wall festival. We would
like for people to be thinking all year, 'Where will the next wall
As for this year, "We want to see people come out," she added. "We
want them to watch, we want them to paint. We want it to be a festive