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Chalk it up to change in Almont


Young artists tackle American subject in drawing contest


May 20, 2009
ALMONT — The rain stopped long enough Saturday for the pavement to dry and participants in an Almont American Legion chalk-drawing contest to demonstrate their artistic skills.

Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, the 2nd Annual "Chalk Around the Fountain" contest featured seven talented middle school and high school students, vying for bragging rights and cash prizes of $10, $25 and $50.

The field of contestants included last year's winner, Amber Pakledinaz, 15, who was joined this year by her 12-year-old brother, Ryan.

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Passersby enjoy the chalk artwork created by several student artists as part of the American Legion Auxiliary’s ‘Chalk Around the Fountain’ contest. Last year’s winner, Amber Pakledinaz, 15, is shown in the foreground. photo by Tom Wearing.

Sticking with the contest theme, "Change in America," Amber used multiple colors to create an American flag and a green foreground suggesting the nation's "green" movement. Both students received "honorable mention" and $5 for their efforts.

Another brother and sister combination, Grant (15) and Elena (12) Boxey; worked independently to create tributes to the evolution of music and green technology, respectively. Elena was the recipient of second-place honors and $25, while Grant finished third and took home $10.

Finishing first and winning the $50 top prize, were sisters Cecilia and Clare Biolchini and friend Marissa Rinke, who teamed up to create "Buy America," a timely message in troubled economic times.

"Since our car industry is really bad," said Claire, "we thought it would be good to encourage people to buy American products."

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Judge Connie Kindred said all of the young artists' works were worthy of praise, adding that it was difficult selecting a winner.

"All of the kids did a fantastic job," said Kindred. "They put so much work into it and we're very proud of all of them."

American Legion Auxiliary president Nedra Beal was equally impressed with the students' efforts.

"They were all so good and deserve to be acknowledged," she said. "We thank them for taking part."

Beal noted that community member Lucille Thomson donated the $50 for the winning chalk drawing.

Chalk Around The Fountain was held in conjunction with the Almont Downtown Development Authority's Spring Fling, held May 14-16.

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