Veteran donates painting to RFL raffle

A former Marine is donating an original painting to the Relay For Life cause.Nester Hernandez, a former Marine Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp, has donated an original painting, “Walk by Faith,” to be raffled off to benefit Relay For Life of Hutchinson County.Hernandez is a Purple Heart recipient that was wounded in Afghanistan on Oct. 5, 2010. After returning to the United States the following December, he began “putting the paint to the canvas” and continues this therapeutic hobby. Interested in and pursuing his love of art since his grade school days, art was put on a back burner in his life as Hernandez entered the Marine Corp.Since being honorably discharged in March of last year, he found himself painting in the wee hours of the morning, using his hobby to combat his bad dreams and nightmares.“I was not going to let all of the bad things I went through while in Afghanistan control what little I had that was good,” Hernandez said. “So much life I have seen has been taken or lost.”He said with his art, he feels he is creating life where there was nothing but a blank, white canvas.“Art is a therapy for me, and I feel it has helped me to get through the days and nights that were once filled with bad memories,” he said. “Now I can in turn help others by donating my artwork to charitable organizations for their auctions and raffles.”Hernandez now devotes all of his time to creating one-of-a-kind custom acrylic artwork pieces, as well as commissioned portraits. To date, he has donated to The Wounded Warriors Program, Cancer Awareness, “Fight For A Cure,” and now is helping to raise funds to fight cancer through the Relay For Life of Hutchinson County program.Tickets are $2 each or three for $5, and are available from Maggie Peña by calling 806-898-0885. The raffle is part of Peña’s team effort to raise funds for RFL of Hutchinso County and all proceeds from the raffle will benefit the American Cancer Society via RFL.Peña said the drawing for the painting will be held on Saturday, May 6, and the winner will be announced on the RFL of Hutchinson County web site and in local newspapers.The 2012 Relay For Life of Hutchinson County will be held from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9, at Huber Park in Borger. Anyone interested in forming or joining a team for the event is urged to contact team chair Denise Webb at 806-336-6475 or via email at