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Kids Claim Prizes In Smokey Bear Coloring Contest

OAKHURST – As part of the Yosemite Festival last Saturday in Oakhurst Community Park, the winners of the 22nd annual Smokey Bear Coloring Contest took the stage to be honored for their creative efforts.

Sierra Tel has co-sponsored the Smokey Bear Coloring Contest with Cal Fire since 1992, in order to help create awareness and educate children about fire safety issues.

During this yearly contest, the kids are given a prepared page to color, and this year were also asked to answer a question, in 25 words or less: “How can fires caused by humans affect Yosemite National Park?”

Winning entries displayed at Oakhurst ParkThe comments were sweet and insightful, with many expressions of concern for the creatures who live there. “All the animals will have to find new homes,” said one young artist. “You can’t visit Yosemite if it’s on fire,” said another, while third noted that fire “…makes it less beautiful for tourists from around the world.”

A dozen judges from around the community gathered at Sierra Tel the previous week to assess the young artists’ skills and choose the winners. Those 21 winners were honored in the park on Saturday, and one by one took the stage to receive their rewards. Each child was given a backpack from Cal Fire, and a cash award and certificate from Sierra Tel.

Rima Runtzel Ryan Davis and Smokey Bear congratulate 1st place winner Peter ShawMarketing Coordinator Rima Runtzel, who has been orchestrating this event for the past seven years, served as emcee, even stepping up to lead everyone in a rousing rendition of “Smokey the Bear” when the sound system didn’t cooperate to play the background music. Ryan Davis was there to co-host on behalf of Cal Fire.

As often happens in the lives of firefighters, just as the festivities got underway, the crew of Station 12 and Cal Fire Engine 4254 were dispatched to the scene of an injury at Bass Lake and had to man their engines and head out. Unfortunately that left the kids without a big red engine to explore after the ceremony, but they understood that duty calls.

Smokey Bear Coloring Contest Winners CakeAfter hugs from Smokey, (thank you Christopher Petrowski) everyone headed over to the Cal Fire booth to enjoy a piece of congratulatory cake, created by the folks at Raley’s.

“We were very happy to coordinate the awards ceremony with the Yosemite Festival,” says organizer Rima Runtzel. “The public presentation made it more special for the kids and It allowed all of the families to enjoy the event. We hope to continue this new tradition going forward.”

And the winners are:

Place

Oakhurst – ages 4-6

Name

Age

1

Peter Shaw

5

2

Nicholas Bateman

4

3

Queen Jubilee Becker

6

4

Tyler Conley

6

Place

Oakhurst – ages 7-9

Name

Age

1

Kaitlyn Fisher

9

2

Princess Amy Shaw

9

3

Teagan Niewohner

8

4

Lilly Shaw

7

Place

Oakhurst – ages 10-12

Name

Age

1

Elley Shaw

11

2

Julia Telian

11

3

Keylee Andersen

12

4

Carley Conley

10

Place

Mariposa – ages 4-6

Name

Age

1

Emily Casner

6

2

Allie Casner

4

3

Shylah Ann Joslin

5

4

Jaxzyn Przybyla

5

Place

Mariposa – ages 7-9

Name

Age

1

Megan Harris

9

2

Sarah Cenoweth

9

Place

Mariposa – ages 10-12

Name

Age

1

Acacia Partida

11

2

Pavel Breish

12

3

Rebecca Chenoweth

11

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