DA honors Helen Lane for three decades of giving

DA honors Helen Lane for three decades of giving
Helen Lane cuts the ribbon commemorating the new Helen Murchison Lane Art Gallery at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. From left, Barry Wilson, DA Visual Arts department head, District 14 Councilman Jim Love, DA Principal Melanie Hammer, Duval County Public Schools Board Chairman Paula D. Wright, Helen Lane, Duval County Public Schools Board Vice Chairman Ashley Smith-Juarez, Ann Hicks, Deborah Knauer and DA Foundation President Jeff Dunn

With hoopla and much fanfare, the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Foundation honored Helen Lane’s three decades of giving to the school when it held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the Helen Murchison Lane Art Gallery at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts May 22.

Duval County Public School board members and city officials joined other philanthropists at the elegant affair which took place in the new gallery, which comprises the school’s atrium and reception area adjacent to the school’s front office.

DA Principal Melanie Hammer opened the luncheon festivities welcoming many dignitaries in the audience. In attendance were District 14 Councilman Jim Love, three Duval County Public School Board officials – School Board Chair Paula D. Wright, Vice Chair Ashley Smith Juarez, and District 7 Representative Lori Hershey – Jeff Dunn, president of the DA Foundation and Jackie Cornelius, executive director of the DA Foundation. Also in the crowd were Preston Haskell, Betsy Lovett, Deborah Knauer and Ann Hicks, all of Ortega, Lawrence DuBow and Linda Stein, both of San Jose, Ryan Schwartz and Gary McCalla, both of San Marco, and former School Board Superintendent John Fryer and his wife, Carol.

DA singing group The Silhouettes performed and Logan Smith, a DA senior majoring in musical arts performed a solo, “You Never Know.”

Speaking at the event were Wright, Smith-Juarez, Love, and Cornelius.

“There is an old saying ‘well-behaved women rarely make history.’ Helen Lane is the reason they say rarely and not never. Every inch a lady, Helen is a doer and a visionary,” Smith-Juarez said of the Ortega resident. “We want magic, wonder and creativity at all our schools in Duval County, but because of Helen Lane, these things are alive at DA. The seeds Helen Lane has planted here are truly a gift. She has been a permanent fixture at DA since the day it was founded and will be out into the future,” she said.

Cornelius agreed. “We wanted to honor Helen’s three decades of giving to support the school from her heart and as an ambassador, knowing that this program of intensive arts study truly makes a difference in our community,” said Cornelius after the ceremony. “Because of her, many students, who would not otherwise have had the opportunity, are able to take part in the intensive study which this program provides.”

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