Drug poster a second win for Taneytown 11-year-old

Runnymede fifth-grader won Westminster police `Buckle Up' contest

July 02, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Taneytown girl has become the first contender to win two poster contests sponsored by Westminster Police Department.

Lisa Garner, 11, stood in the shadow of a billboard along Route 140 in Westminster yesterday. In December, her first winning entry was reproduced on a billboard on Railroad Avenue (Route 27).

In December, Lisa, who will be a sixth-grader at Northwest Middle School in the fall, won the department's "Buckle Up" poster contest. She said yesterday she had not expected to win again -- this time in an anti-drug poster contest -- as a fifth-grader representing Runnymede Elementary School.

Her entry depicting caricatures of two fireflies -- one a drugged, drab green critter and the other a cheery, bright green one -- competed with 1,800 posters, 600 more than the previous contest.

Cpl. Michael Bible, who serves as Drug Abuse Resistance Education and community relations officer for Westminster, said a committee of judges selected three winning entries from each of 14 elementary schools. The committee selected the top 14 entries, one from each school, and then chose the grand winner.

"Only then was the poster turned over to see the contestant's name written on the back," Bible said. "I couldn't believe it when I saw the name Lisa Garner again."

PNE Media donates the billboard and reproduces the winning entry, Bible said.

Lisa's entry captured the anti-drug theme perfectly, he said.

Above the fireflies, the text says: "Don't let drugs make your life drab and dreary Keep your future looking bright!!!"

The drab and dreary firefly has a cigarette in its mouth and a can of hair spray in its "hand."

The cheery firefly is smelling a yellow flower, its body aglow.

Beneath the caricatures, the poster says: "Tragedy is only a drug away. Say no to drugs!"

Lisa said she spent two days at the county library looking through art books to find inspiration for her firefly critters. She needed about four days to design and draw the poster.

When Lisa was asked how she planned to celebrate her victory, Mary Garner whispered in her daughter's ear, "Tell him you want to go to Disney World."

"No Disney World this year," said Andy Garner, Lisa's father.

Lisa will next take aim at a poster contest for sixth-graders, sponsored by the D.A.R.E. officer at the middle school, said Bible.

It will be hard to top her latest poster, but Bible, her parents and Lisa didn't expect her to top her "Buckle Up" winning entry.

Pub Date: 7/02/99

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