The sale of art prints of Brownsville landmarks will support the purchase of Christmas gifts for area families that are in need.

Brianne Mitchell, founder of The River Fund, said pandemic-related restrictions have hampered fundraising efforts to make Christmas brighter for students in the Brownsville, California and Charleroi school districts by giving them gifts.

“Normally, we’re able to raise more than $4,000 or $5,000 for the program,” Mitchell said, noting in years past, many other school districts were also included.

Normal fundraisers, however, weren’t in the cards.

An online rummage sale brought in some money and donations, but Mitchell said she hoped to find a way to do more.

Her friend, artist Chris Gaylis, saw one of her Facebook requests for help and stepped in with a suggestion to sell the prints.

“He offered to draw ‘a building,’” Mitchell said. “I said, ‘Why don’t you draw six?’”

He did.

The prints feature the Monongahela National Bank, Nemacolin Castle, Union Station Building and a streetscape that includes the borough’s “telephone building,” old bank building and Snowden building.

Gaylis, who donated part of his services, drew the buildings and used watercolors to complete the portraits.

The Pittsburgh-based artist, teacher and author and has had his work featured regionally and nationally in publications and art galleries.

Mitchell also credited Kelly Tunney, a Brownsville-area photographer for providing accurate historical information and with his help in the technical aspects of setting up the sale.

The artwork can be purchased in a variety of ways from photographs to canvases, and from mugs or ornaments to greeting cards.

Mitchell said 10 gallery-quality 11x14 prints were donated to Nemacolin Castle to sell in the gift shop, with proceeds to go to Brownsville Historical Society.

The River Fund is the nonprofit arm of the Della and Lila Children’s Book Series, written by Mitchell with the help of her daughters, Della and Lila.

The fund supports charitable organizations that help families locally and around the world. All of the proceeds from the sale of the prints will support local Christmas giving.

To purchase prints, visit dellaandlila.com.

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