Michael Engram hopes a family-friendly art funfest will raise enough proceeds to fund a scholarship in a longtime area coach’s name, but, more importantly, that many young people will fill their lives with valuable, positive lessons — one brushstroke at a time.

“My focus is on students being well-rounded. We operate on four core values: academics, community service, leadership and mentorship,” Engram said, referring to the philosophy that drives Game Changers, a leadership training and mentoring organization he coaches that is geared toward high school athletes.

The 8-year-old nonprofit organization also hosted Saturday’s second annual Fall Sip & Paint event at Eastwood Field, the first session of which gave young people an opportunity to express their artistic acumen.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward establishing the Phil Annarella “Don’t Quit” Scholarship, named after the late longtime head high school football coach who died in June 2019 at age 70. In 1990, Annarella, who most recently was Austintown Fitch High School’s head coach, led the 14-0 Warren Harding team to a Division I state title.

For Engram, however, Annarella’s legacy lies more in his accomplishments off the field than on. “He was my mentor, and I wanted to do something to honor him. He always cared more about the student than the athlete,” Engram said, referring to Annarella’s main priority and focus being on students’ academic success.


Annarella also highlighted the fact that sports programs teach character values, and it’s in that spirit that Game Changers operates — regardless of one’s athletic abilities, Engram said. He added that funds from sip and paint event also will be used for youth programming and to take two area high school athletes to the 2022 Espy Awards next summer in Los Angeles.

A primary goal was to raise about $50,000, Engram noted.

He also expressed thanks and gratitude to the Cafaro Company and 11 area restaurants for assisting with the effort.

Conducting the first of two autumn-themed Sip & Paint a 40-year artist who attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and of Houston before graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta.

“I teach them to cover the whole picture and get them to visually see what they’re painting,” said Davenport, whose interest in art bloomed in second grade.

Davenport gave a series of art demonstrations during the event in which the young people painted on artboards from stencils of owls and the adults painted sunflowers.

Her artistic prowess also has crossed into the writing field with her children’s book, titled “Jaxon Swag in Color with God,” coming out in November, which combines religion and the importance of color, she explained.

Color was the main theme flowing through Jocelyn Davenport’s painting of an owl, in which she used bright orange to surround the white formation of the bird’s features.

“I like painting in my free time. It calms me down,” said Jocelyn, 12, of Warren, who is Sonya Davenport’s niece.

Jocelyn, who attends McGuffey Pre-K-8 School and is on the track and cheerleading teams, added she hopes to become a traveling nurse or pursue a career in sports medicine.

“She enjoys painting. She was excited to come out today and paint,” Dante Capers of Warren said about his daughter, Elizabeth, 4, whom he guided as she added colorful splashes to her owl painting.

“For me, it was a good opportunity to spend time with my daughter and support a really good cause.”

For Tim Raimey of Champion and his wife, Tammy, the Sip & Paint gathering was a chance to assist Engram in his efforts to steer young people in positive directions, they said.

The event also included a second session for adults.