By Tori Brock
Huntsville Item

The first-ever Paint the Town Orange event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at Faith Lutheran Church as a special fundraiser for the Sam Houston State women's basketball team.

Participants will work with local artists Patsy Lindamood and Brenda Nichols to create a print of the Sam Houston logo with a Bearkat paw. Nichols, a children's book illustrator, is also coach of the women's basketball team.

"This is a spin-off of Painting with a Twist in Conroe," Nichols said of the event. "We were looking for a different fund-raiser than the traditional golf tournament. This even is not limited to women only, but we wanted to find something that Huntsville didn't have to offer."

Unique and fun are only the beginning as Nichols said the evening will also provide an educational opportunity for amateur artists.

"Patsy's going to talk about art and why we do it," Nichols said. "I think it's going to be amazing."

Lindamood said the idea of pairing art with fund-raising blossomed over lunch with fellow Bearkat women's basketball fan Brenda Hooker.

"We hope to bring something fun here that you don't have to drive to Conroe to do," Lindamood said. "We can leverage the money raised for the women's basketball team. Attendees are going to get a lot of personal attention while they're there."

Earlier this year, Lindamood began an art project where she paints scenes from basketball games. Working with the players, she said, has been an eye-opening experience. Not only do the players perform on the court, but also in the community.

"This group of women has a passion for the sport, the school and the program," she said. "I was able to see firsthand how participating in the sport helped build the character of these young women. I hope these paintings get national recognition because it will bring notoriety to the team."

Hooker said a major draw for the night will be the ability to take home a piece of art suitable for framing. Attendees will paint on a board, the back of which will be signed by the entire SHSU women's basketball team.

"We hope to do this again and what we paint won't be the identical thing every time," Hooker said. "Since this is the first fund-raiser of this kind, we will be asking what people would like to do in the future."

Money raised will help fund travel and incidental expenses for pre- and post-season tournament play.

"When you participate in this community you see they goes beyond playing basketball on that court," Hooker said. "They're giving so much back to this community. The education they're getting goes way beyond playing basketball."

It's education out of the classroom and off the court that has impressed Martha Blume.

"They've got the best coach that I've ever seen there," she said of Nichols. "I've been watching a long time. I think it's important to support the women's teams."

Members of the team will be on hand to take pictures with attendees, as well as provide free childcare for the evening. Refreshments will be provided and waiters will be serving guests.

A silent auction will be held featuring items such as jewelry, a basketball signed by the team, basketball tickets, Mary Kay and Avon baskets and artwork by Lindamood, whose work can be viewed at

Tickets are $25 and there will only be 100 sold. For tickets or more information, email or call (936) 294-1742. Tickets may also be purchased at Community Service Credit Union. Donations are always accepted.