A unique fundraiser kicked off Friday night in Columbia. Tigers on the Prowl features a dozen specially painted life-sized tigers painted by local artists. They will spend the summer and fall touring Mid-Missouri and raising money for a dozen different charities. KRCG??s Teresa Snow caught up with the artists on one project who say combining their talents and their favorite charity was a perfect fit.
Sharon Paulsell and her daughter Ashley Cooper estimate they spent 200 transforming a fiberglass tiger into a work of art and more importantly a mascot for veterans. When Paulsell saw the fundraiser last year she knew a big project was in her future.
??My daughter and I we feel we are pretty talented so we knew that we could take the challenge on,?? said Paulsell. ??And then secondly, my husband and I and my sister-in-law, it's a family affair for Central Missouri Honor Flight we've been doing this for six years and it's our passion. So I was like, ??Hey I'm all in. We can do this!????
The Central Missouri Honor Flight tiger will have another connection to the Paulsell family, it will be dressed in a uniform just like the one worn by Sharon??s father-in-law in World War 2. Sharon??s father-in-law was an 84th Railsplitter, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Silver Star.
The tiger??s clothes replicate his uniform.
Sharon??s daughter Ashley Cooper was in charge of painting the realistic tiger face. Paulsell added the uniform. But the finishing touch was the signatures of World War 2 veterans on the base of the sculpture.
Paulsell hopes the tiger??s tour through the area this fall and auction bid in October will bring in enough money to pay for a complete honor flight for veterans, around $60,000.