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ST. MARYS — During an annual art contest that nabs participation throughout the United States and Canada, four local students placed in the competition.
As part of the 2012 Fraternal Order of Eagles Children’s Art Contest, Holy Rosary sixth-grade student Sam Young received first place in the sixth grade division of the contest.
“I drew a picture of a guy holding a flag,” Sam said. “He was a soldier.”
Sam said he used graphite pencil for the black and white drawing.
“She told us about the contest,” he said of his art teacher, Stacia Axe. “It had to relate to our country.”
Sam said he found out about the contest when he came home one day.
“My parents told me,” he said. “I was excited.”
For winning first place, Sam received a $200 check from the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
“I got money,” he said, noting what he did with the money. “I put it in the bank.”
Sam said “Sure,” when asked if he enjoys drawing, but added he also participates in sports. He said he likes playing basketball, baseball and soccer.
He hasn’t received his drawing back, Sam noted.
“They still have it,” the son of Bill and Cara Young said.
Axe described Sam as a talented artist.
“Sam is just really talented, especially with his drawing,” she said.
Axe said Sam’s piece showed a unique line quality.
“It really looked great,” she said. “I knew it was something special when he turned it in — getting to the national level is a really big deal, and I’m really proud of him.”
In addition to Sam, there were three other students who placed in the contest. Chloe Oleyar, a fifth-grade student at St. Marys Intermediate School, received fourth place in the fifth-grade division, St. Marys Middle School student Tommy Risner received second place in the sixth-grade division and St. Marys Middle School student Emilee Bott received fourth place in the sixth-grade division.
Ronda Shelby, who helps organize the contest locally, noted the Eagles’ Children’s Art Contest has been around for more than 30 years.
“We’ve had a couple of state winners before, but this is the first time we’ve had this many place,” she said, noting this year’s theme focusing on patriotism was a new aspect to the contest.
“The theme had always been ‘What I like best about my hometown,’ and this year it changed to ‘Pride and patriotism.’”
Axe noted she has participated in the contest in the past.
“It was such a great contest because it brought up a lot of images about the country we live in,” she said, noting she welcomed the change in theme. “I thought this was so much more broad. I thought it was a really great thing for them to think about with their art.”
Shelby noted the students receive money for placing in the top four in their divisions.
“Not only is this a lucrative contest, but it also gives the children a chance for their work to be seen nationally,” she said. “It runs in the national Eagles magazine.”
Axe and Shelby complimented the local Eagles Aerie No. 767 on its continued support in both the contest and the schools.
“The Eagles has always been a huge supporter of this, especially Dave Sprague,” Shelby added.
Shelby also complimented Axe, as well as the St. Marys art teachers who participated in the contest, Sue Kleinhenz and Kathy Sites.
“I think it speaks so highly of our art teachers — Mrs. Sites, Mrs. Axe and Mrs. Kleinhenz — they are the best of the best,” Shelby said of having four students place in their divisions.