STOWE PA – For young Denisha Footman, today’s (Friday, May 1, 2009) a big day.
Judges of the National Missing Children’s Day artwork contest are expected to announce their choice today of a winner from among 50 artists representing 50 states, each of whom produced posters promoting the day’s 27th anniversary. Denisha, a fifth-grader at Pottsgrove School District‘s West Pottsgrove Elementary School, is Pennsylvania’s sole representative in the contest.
The national judging is long-since over; it was held earlier in April. Denisha had to survive through local judging, then the state level, to be among the nationally chosen few. If her name is called today, she wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC, accompanied by her parents and teacher, to receive an award and participate in the national observance’s May 25 ceremony.
Whether her poster is selected for the top prize or not, Denisha’s already a winner in the eyes of West Pottsgrove. “We are very proud of Denisha for making it to this very prestigious level of the competition,” the school said in a statement distributed from its website. “We … know that we have sent an extraordinary young person to represent West Pottsgrove Elementary School and the state of Pennsylvania.”
National Missing Children’s Day was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 as an annual reminder to make child protection a national priority. The event is sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Editor’s Addendum (May 6, 2009): West Pottsgrove Principal Ruth Fisher reports the school has received word Denisha Footman was not named as the poster contest finalist.
Photo from West Pottsgrove Elementary School