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United Way Christmas Coloring Contest

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Emblazoned with classic symbols of the Yuletide season, it’s little wonder that the Christmas card is often considered a form of holiday art. What would make a more authentic expression of holiday joy than a card colored by a child?  And, for that matter, one that features a surfing Santa?

United Way of Hernando County’s 8th Annual Holiday Coloring Contest is now open for submissions. Hernando County preschool students through 5th grade (Hernando County Schools and daycares, private schools, Hernando eSchool, and home-schooled students) are invited to participate in this year’s Annual Holiday Card Coloring Contest, which–as per contest tradition–features a tropical theme. In addition, the 2022 holiday card features a fun surfing Santa.

“There is so much holiday artwork out there with snow, ice, and children bundled up,” said Angie B. Walasek, Executive Director/CEO of United Way of Hernando County. “We wanted to continue to give our holiday card a Florida twist.”

Indeed, this year’s card features Santa and an antler-bearing dolphin surfing the Florida waves side by side, with gifts lining Santa’s sleigh and surrounding innertubes. He has traded in his big red suit for a Hawaiian shirt and shorts–and, in addition to his cheery red cap, he now wears sunglasses. His festive bag now reads Live United, and he surfs against a backdrop of rolling waves and palm trees wrapped with holiday lights.

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“United Way looks at it as a creative way to make our holiday cards in-house while promoting local talent,” said Walasek. “Some of the artwork we receive back are from kindergarteners, and it’s beautiful! Every card will have the winner’s first name, last initial, and school on it for the community to see.”

The coloring contest page must be fully colored. Artwork (front) and Contact Information (back) must be completed. The colored copy must be submitted no later than November 30, 2022. Submitted artwork is reviewed by United Way’s Student Board Members, where five lucky winners who creatively embrace the LIVE UNITED spirit will have their artwork featured on United Way of Hernando County’s Annual Holiday Card. Cards are distributed every December to more than 200 community partners, local businesses, the Board of Directors, and more. Each winner’s family will receive a holiday card and a special prize as a thank you for the student’s artistic work. In addition, the selected winners’ teacher will also receive copy paper and school supplies for their classroom.

“We’re aware that a lot of classrooms use this opportunity as a holiday activity with their students every year,” said Walasek. “It really encourages them to think outside of the box, while working with the same tools as everyone else. We hope it challenges them to get creative.”

Furthermore, a prime creative outlet is one of many rewards that come as part and parcel of the 8th Annual Holiday Coloring Contest.

“Many classrooms and art teachers look forward to this contest every year. Having our student board members select the winners this year will be fun,” said Walasek. “We aim to congratulate the winners at their schools with a little treat and school supplies for their teacher. This is normally accomplished in ugly holiday sweaters. It’s a fun initiative where we’re aiming for families to also share the winner’s card with other family members as well.”

United Way’s Coloring Contest page can be downloaded by visiting www.UnitedWayHernando.org/ColoringContest.

Entrants are encouraged to submit all colored artwork before the deadline to the United Way of Hernando County office located at 4028 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606, or scan and email colored front and back to [email protected].

[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.hernandosun.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/2022-Holiday-Coloring-Card-FRONT-BACK-United-Way-of-Hernando-County.pdf” title=”2022 Holiday Coloring Card (FRONT & BACK) – United Way of Hernando County”]

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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