By Jane Primerano
Painting parties have become popular in many forms.
Women gather in each other’s homes or at wineries for “paint and sip” parties.
Mothers and daughters or grandmothers and granddaughters get together to paint.
It has become a fad that many women, and some men, enjoy.
Joyce Lahmidi of Elarah Parties specializes in painting parties of all kinds at many different venues with creative themes and décor. She also does parties as fund raisers.
Her next fundraiser is for a new service for veterans called Warrior Strong, a group that helps former military men and women with physical and/or psychological issues.
One of the services is an adaptive workout facility for veterans who need special equipment and training, such as amputees. Warrior Strong also offers physical therapy, free personal training sessions and both one-to-one and group mental health counseling, according to the Warrior Strong website. It also provides workshops for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a place and opportunities for networking and socialization.
Warrior Strong has two satellite gyms, one in Morris Plains and the other in Scranton, Pa. Both are in regular gyms. Lahmidi said the group is raising money for its own facilities.
The proceeds from the painting event, which will be Friday, Oct. 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., will go toward this goal. The charge will be $40 each. Attendees will receive a canvas and paints are provided.
The Episcopal Church of the Messiah on Route 24 between Chester Borough and Long Valley is the venue. Rev. Margaret Otterbein, rector of Messiah said the church offered use of the building but isn’t directly involved in Warrior Strong.
The church offers many outreach endeavors, including the Senior Resource Center for Washington Township and a thrift shop.
Lahmidi became involved through Dawn Pensack, an EFT practitioner who often works with veterans. EFT stands for emotional freedom techniques, she said.
According to its website, EFT is a psychological acupressure technique based on the body’s energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture. Rather than needles, the therapist uses his or her fingertips to tap on the patient’s body while asking the patient to think about specific problems and voice positive affirmations. Patients are also taught to perform acupressure on themselves.
Pensak treats veterans through Warrior Strong for free, helping vets with PTSD, although she has other paying clients, Lahmidi said.
Lahmidi represented Warrior Strong at the recent Veteran’s Summer Festival. She found many of the veterans had not heard of the group so she is also using the fund raiser to bring attention to it.
She said anyone is welcome to attend, no experience painting is necessary.
Attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks, she said.
The painting at this party will be a patriotic “Welcome” sign. Attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks and beverages. Otterbein said wine may be brought, but no hard liquor, and the wine must be kept separate from any beverages offered to children.