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November 26, 2013

Snowman art works frosty magic for WBSD charity

By Cari DeLamielleure-Scott
C & G Staff Writer

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Snowman art works frosty magic for WBSD charity
Four of the five contest winners for the Our Children’s Fund fundraising event pose with their drawings. The winners, from left to right, are Honoka Nakamoto, Victoria Brender, Riley Reigle and McKayla Prew. Rio Haraguchi is not pictured.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Gene Autry’s famous winter song “Frosty the Snowman” documented that Frosty would return to the kids “someday.” In West Bloomfield, the spirit of the snowman has been returning for more than 20 years in the form of a holiday fundraising drive for Our Children’s Fund. 

Our Children’s Fund, which was established more than 25 years ago, assists more than 300 West Bloomfield School District families in financial need, said committee member Kathy Sheiko. The proceeds from the Holiday Help fundraiser will go toward buying gift cards so families can purchase necessities during the holidays. Sheiko said Our Children’s Fund also assists with household bills and purchasing school supplies for children.

Prior to 2012, the charity hosted a snowman art contest for West Bloomfield students, turning the winning entry into a pin. But in 2012, the organization decided to turn five winning entries into holiday/winter greeting cards. Highlighting a youth’s unique and untrained skill, the charity decided to open the contest up to elementary students, while formerly students of all ages could enter.

“If you look at the artwork this year, it’s beautiful and simplistically done, and we were very pleased with the entries,” said Eleanore Squaire-Spears, co-chair of the contest. In addition to the entries by the elementary students, preschool students were also allowed to enter the past two years.

More than 700 entries were received for the contest, and five students, one from each elementary school, were selected to have their snowman designs showcased on a pack of five cards. Every penny earned from the $10 packs of cards is returned to the students in need throughout West Bloomfield, said Sheiko.

The winners selected for their originality of the corncob-piped snowman were Honoka Nakamoto from Sheiko Elementary, Victoria Brender from Roosevelt Elementary, Riley Riegle from Gretchko Elementary, Rio Haraguchi from Doherty Elementary and McKayla Prew from Scotch Elementary.

Ten students representing the schools earned honorable mentions: Jake Armstrong, Abigail David, Paige Harris, Daisy Jaent, Sarah Lauerman, Gentry Mann, Marianna Moody, Grant Moyer, Liana Seaborn and Carmen Yaldo. 

Designs by the winners and honorable mentions will be displayed at Orchard Mall after Thanksgiving, and the packs of cards will be sold on site.

“We wish we could put up everybody’s pictures, but the mall won’t have enough space,” said Squaire-Spears.

The Our Children’s Fund greeting cards are available for $10 at West Bloomfield School District schools and the Administrative and Community Services Building, 5810 Commerce Road, West Bloomfield. Proceeds will benefit the West Bloomfield students in need during the holidays.

Learn more about the fund by visiting www.wbsd.org or by calling (248) 865-6420.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Cari DeLamielleure-Scott at cdelamielleure@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1093.