Contest will help teach teamwork

Thursday, October 3, 2002

SIKESTON - Educators stress the importance of encouraging youngsters to express themselves creatively, believing it gives them a sense of confidence and offers an outlet for expressing emotions and thoughts.

The Sikeston Elks, Elks Auxiliary and Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce will give young people an artistic opportunity that will also teach them teamwork while giving them a chance to create something for others to enjoy.

During the Halloween Window Painting Contest, non-profit youth organizations gather their artistic ideas to paint a window in the downtown area that has been assigned by the Chamber.

It's been something young people in the community have looked forward to for the past seven years, eager to combine their artistic talents and thoughts and show the result off to the community.

The Chamber's executive director, Missy Marshall, described the contest as a positive activity in the community. The youngsters enjoy it, it serves as away to show community spirit and it's a fun October activity in recognition of Red Ribbon Week.

And there are prizes, she pointed out, which help support the community's youth organizations. The groups painting the windows deemed "Most Drug Awareness/Red Ribbon Week", "Most Creative" and Scariest each receive $150.

"Participations varies year to year but on average we have eight to 10 groups, last year we had eight," noted Marshall. "We've had church youth groups, art clubs, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and service youth clubs."

There are certain rules to abide by though. Participants must be under age 18 and members of a not-for-profit youth organization. Although adult supervision is required, adults are not allowed to do any of the painting.

Since the theme is Drug Awareness and Red Ribbon Week, a red ribbon must be displayed on at least one Halloween character to qualify for prizes.

Painting will last from 8-10 a.m. Oct. 26 and participants must use tempera paint only. No ladders are allowed.

Participants and sponsors are responsible for cleaning the windows by Nov. 4.

To enter the contest send in the name of the organization, name of the sponsor, daytime phone number and age span of participants to: Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, 1 Industrial Drive, Sikeston, Mo. 63801. For more information call 471-2498.

"We encourage the community to support the creative side of our kids and appreciate their artwork," Marshall said. "And in recognition of Red Ribbon Week, We also need to support our school and community drug awareness programs."

Deadline for turning in the application information is 5 p.m. Oct. 21.

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