Pupil's art aims to inspire buckling up for safety


January 12, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IF ALL THE gory statistics, accident headlines and the seat belt law haven't persuaded you to buckle up, perhaps Friendship Valley Elementary student Kris Walker's art will.

His vivid drawing -- a seat belt stretching across the page but not snapping together -- beat 1,189 other pictures in a countywide poster contest sponsored by Westminster police.

Soon the 10-year-old's drawing will be plastered across a billboard in Carroll County. A flash of colors fills the area where the seat belt is supposed to fasten, and "Safety is Only a Click Away Buckle Up" gives the message.

"My picture is not too complicated because I wanted people to understand it when they drove by," Kris said. "It's going to be cool when it goes up."

Every fifth-grader in the county had the opportunity to illustrate that slogan. First-, second- and third-place winners were picked at each elementary school, and Kris was selected as the grand prize winner.

His drawing had "the best eye-catching message," said Cpl. Michael Bible, community education officer for Westminster police.

"I understood why I needed to buckle up, and so did the other committee members who judged each of the entries," he said.

Other Friendship Valley school winners were Katie Ellis, first; Jon Haddad, second; and Ryan Barnett, third.

Plaques, medallions and ribbons were distributed to the winners. Kris received a trophy, a $50 savings bond, local cable television coverage and billboard fame.

The contest was a real boost for Kris. Unlike coloring contests, which provide a picture, the poster contest allowed more creativity, Kris said. He credited art teacher Deb Welle for sparking creativity and introducing her students to a variety of art techniques.

Bible said he didn't know when the winning poster would appear on a billboard. Apparently billboard space in the county is hard to come by right now.

Other winners in central Carroll County are:

First place: Emily Oliver, Charles Carroll; Miguel Burgos, Robert Moton; Zachery Larrick, Sandymount; Melissa Bordner, Westminster Elementary; and Jacqueline Mabry, William Winchester.

Second place: Heidi Flinn, Charles Carroll; Ashley Shelby, Robert Moton; Lisa Goodman, Sandymount; Nichole Herring, Westminster Elementary; and Brittany Price, William Winchester.

Third place: Meghan Milliken, Charles Carroll; Brendon Thompson, Robert Moton; Dayn Graves, Sandymount; Nick Bonnet, Westminster Elementary; and Zach Rambo, William Winchester.

Bird seed sale

Bird lovers can benefit from a big fund-raiser this month at Bear Branch and Piney Run nature centers. The annual sale, which is the top fund-raiser for the centers, features seed, feeders and bird books.

Eleven to 13 tons of seed (regular and premium mixes, black oil and hulled sunflower seed, and thistle, to name a few) have been purchased and bagged.

It might not be the cheapest seed in town, but it is the cheapest quality seed available, said Melinda Byrd, Hashawha Environmental Center administrator.

"I customized the blends myself, and there are no fillers. Our supplier suggested fillers, but I said no. We stand by this seed proudly," Byrd said.

Volunteers and staff members well-versed in which birds like which seeds will answer questions.

"People can find out which seed is above ground, which seed is scattered and when," Byrd said. "Bird feeders and all kinds of books are also available."

Seed can be picked up after Jan. 20.

Information: 410-848-2517 or 410-795-6043.

Choral auditions

Carroll County Choral Society is preparing for its spring concert, a celebration for the 100th birthday anniversary of George Gershwin.

New singers and all voice parts are welcome. Auditions will be held at 7: 10 p.m. tomorrow and Jan. 20 in the music room at Westminster High School.

Rehearsals will be held at 7: 30 p.m. Tuesdays, starting tomorrow after auditions. Herb Sell will direct the concert, which will be given April 20 and 21.

Dues are $5 and will be collected at audition/rehearsal. Information: 410-549-6827.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 1/12/98

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