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Leonard student wins first in art contest

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April 28, 2011 - Kelcie Simmons, age 11, from Leonard won the top award in the Open Your Heart Children's Art Contest sponsored by the Fannin County Children's Center. She received her first place ribbon and $100 gift card to WalMart at the Children's Center's open house. Children's Center board member Brandi Savage was excited to present the award to her student. Simmons is a student at Leonard Intermediate School where Savage is the Principal.

Second place was won by 12 year old Brittania Hernandez of Bonham. She won a second place ribbon and a $50 gift card to WalMart. Board member Robin Loreth commented when presenting the award, that when she spoke to Hernandez's father over the phone, she immediately could tell how proud he was of his daughter.

Both girls were presented their awards during the Children's Center's open house. All entries to the art contest were on display during the event. Soon, the artwork will be moved to the Creative Arts Center to be part of the children's art show, which opens Friday, April 29. The public is invited to the opening reception at the Creative Arts Center at 200 W. 5th in Bonham from 4-6 pm, with presentations of awards at around 4:30 pm. Artwork will remain on display through May 7.

Loreth explained that Simmons' and Hernandez's winning artwork will be reproduced onto cards that will be mailed out to local community members in an effort to ask for financial support for the nonprofit agency. Donations received will support all of the center's programs, including CASA, Children's Advocacy Center, child abuse prevention efforts and other services for abused, neglected and needy children of Fannin County.

Simmons is the daughter of Eddie and Christy Simmons of Leonard and the granddaughter of Lola Flanagan of Leonard and Glen and Peggy Simmons of Bailey.

The Children's Center's awards were sponsored by Dr. Jim and Valerie Tarpley. Organizers expressed appreciation to all of the children and youth who entered their artwork, as well as all of the parents, teachers and other adults who helped get the artwork turned in.

For more information about the Children's Center, go to or call (903) 583-4339.

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