About 30 students of Marina del Rey Middle School in the Del Rey area participated in painting panels that will be affixed to the largest passenger blimp in the world.

The Marina del Rey Middle School students are among more than 6,000 children who have contributed to the exterior design of the Ameriquest Soaring Dreams Airship, which will make its open-air debut at a Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Anaheim Angels baseball game this spring.

The student participation is part of a program called “Soaring Dreams,” a partnership between Portraits of Hope and Ameri-quest, a mortgage company. Portraits of Hope is a nonprofit organization that focuses on inspiring children and adults through involvement in and exposure to creative, high-profile one-of-a-kind projects, says Ed Massey of Portraits of Hope.

The goal is “to think outside of the box,” he said.

“I have found that all kids need is a little encouragement and hope and anything is possible,” said Massey.

The Marina del Rey Middle School students painted a few of the thousands of panels that will comprise the Soaring Dreams Airship canvas.

The complete canvas will cover more than 40,000 square feet, five times the size of the Sistine Chapel ceiling and more than seven basketball courts.

“Children should dream big, bold dreams,” said Massey.

“This is an opportunity for the unimaginable to become real.”

Beginning in the spring, the Ameriquest Soaring Dreams Airship will travel the U.S., broadcasting major sporting events, including Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

Marina del Rey Middle School student Dre Coleman is excited to see how his contribution will take shape.

“I want to see that (blimp) and say to myself, ‘I did something,'” said Coleman.

More than 200 colorful shapes are what the children have painted, and Massey says the 40,000 square feet of painted canvas will be attached to the Ameriquest Soaring Dreams Airship within the next few weeks.

Information,

www.ameriquestsoaringdreams.com

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