Senior lot sidewalk gets decked out in colorful pawprints

Weeks of planning by Haven Helps paid off in a fun, light-hearted painting session on Sunday, April 16.


Evelynn Lin '25

Students gathered together to help each other paint clubs onto paw prints for the Haven Helps Paw Print Event on April 16.

Evelynn Lin '25, Reporter

On March 23, 2023, Haven Helps club adviser and math teacher Mrs. Beth Benzing sent an email to school staff regarding a new Haven Helps event.

The email said that any school club could sign up and have a paw designed and dedicated to them on the sidewalk near the senior lot. 

Around 30 clubs signed up and donated money to participate in this event. According to Benzing, the twenty dollars collected from each club was used for paint and supplies. 

On Friday afternoon, Haven Helps members painted white paws onto the senior parking lot sidewalk. Inclement weather postponed Saturday’s intended painting time. On Sunday, April 16, 2023, students all gathered to paint their passion for their clubs into the pavement.

“The kids have done an amazing job of coming through,” Benzing said. “I think the reason why they’re so successful is because the kids are so passionate about their clubs. They’re proud of what they do that they wanted to show up and advertise something that they are really proud of.” 

The morning was full of smiles and laughs. Many of the students who turned up were seniors, glad to enjoy a morning where they could leave a mark on the school and possibly return to visit it after graduation. 

“I think it’ll be very nice to come back and be able to see this permanently here,” senior Emma Wei said. “It’s fun being the one to be painting because it’s like you leave a physical mark on the school, and that’s pretty cool.” 

For senior Erich Boerth, who was helping to paint paw prints for Swift Society and Knitting Club, the painting session would also leave a mark on his shorts.  

“I accidentally got some paint on my shorts, but I just rolled with it since it’s not washable. So now, I’m getting very painted shorts, and it’s a lot of fun,” Boerth said. “I’m hoping to take the shorts with me as a bit of a memento.” 

It’s not just the little things like the oil paints, the baked goods, and the miniature details of the paw design that made the overall Paw Print event enjoyable, but also the bigger picture of what this event was about: representation and pride. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s designs and how it all goes together because I think it shows a lot of what happens at Strath Haven,” Haven Helps leader Grace Kelly said. 

The success of the event and final results of the current paws has many of the Haven Helps members excited and looking forward to what may come next for the remainder of the sidewalk left empty. 

“I’m so excited for everyone to walk down this path, and just be like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at this,’” sophomore event organizer Madison Benzing said.“I’m also really excited for it to go well, so we can do it again next year.” 

See all 30 Panther Paws in the gallery below.