Mike and Susan Kline were kind enough to once again judge our Wolf Awareness Week Contest. The Klines have a friendly history with our Wolves. They have also rescued Wolfdogs and given them a forever home. I will tell you that they had their job cut out for them this year. We received so many good entries particularly in the 11-17 age group. The Klines spent all day diligently looking at and reading the hundreds of contest entries. Students of Alexis Salcedo, a teacher at TERRA Environmental Research Institute, sent in the bulk of these entries. The Judges as well as myself and others visiting the Preserve for Wolf Awareness Week thought that Teacher deserved an award for really creating awareness of the plight of the Wolves in the wild. So, even though Alexis Salcedo didn't officially enter our contest, we are recognizing this outstanding Mentor with an Honorary Wolf Awareness Week Award. Congratulations, Alexis! Chorus Howls from the Wolves and hugs from our Staff.
For the second year in a row, we didn’t have any entries in the 3-5 age group. That was disappointing. We encourage teachers and parents to get their children involved in protecting our vanishing wildlife. Please keep that in mind for next year.
In our 6-10 age group, Alli Beth Russell of Olive Branch, Mississippi won with a drawing she did while visiting our Wolves at the Preserve during Wolf Awareness Week. Alli Beth is 8 years old and loves Wolves. She creates comic books whose main character is a Wolf. As you can see in the photo of her entry, she is quite artistically talented for her age. We hope that she continues to care about Wolves and create awareness for them by using her gift.
Ahhhh, the 11-17 year old category was the toughest challenge for our Judges this year. There were just so many wonderful, thoughtful and creative entries. I will talk about some of the entries that should be cited in the 2010 Honorable Mentions link below. This year the Judges found it impossible to pick just one winner. There was a tie. One of our First Place Winners in this age category is Kayla Jane Smith of Maryland. Kayla is 15 years of age and in tenth grade. Her Grandmother inspired her concern for Wolves. Kayla's entry was multi-faceted. There was a picture that she drew of two Wolves displaying a muzzle greeting, a short story entitled If A Wolf Could Talk, her thoughts on the Bush Administration that she sent to the White House, and two letters to Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, 1st letter to Salazar, 2nd letter to Salazar and letters to President Obama, Butch Otter, the Governor of Idaho and the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Congratulations Kayla. Please continue to fight for the Wolves in the wild. As the world's human population continues to grow the wildlife is disappearing at an alarming rate.
The second named First Place Winner in the 11-17 year old category is Vincent Renna a 16 year old High School Student from Massachusetts. Vincent created a PowerPoint Wolf Presentation. (If you click on the thumbnail photo of his entry it will bring you to a link with the PowerPoint Presentation, you will need a viewer to see it. There are free downloads available on the internet.Use your arrow keys to see all pages and text.) The Judges felt that the research he put into this project was worthy of a prize. He tells us that all he wants is for Wolves to stay alive and free. He watches our Wolves on the Webcam. His goal in life is to move to Alaska and create a sanctuary for Wolves and Siberian Huskies.
In our adult category Leia Durham of Cherokee, Alabama submitted a breathtakingly beautiful drawing of two of our Wolves, Woha greeting her Father Wa-ta-chee with a muzzle lick. Leia is not only a very talented artist but tells us she makes jewelry, dreamcatchers and stained glass artwork. Her Mother is a die hard Wolf advocate and I'm sure that her influence help to inspire Leia. Leia has visited our Preserve during Wolf Awareness Week for two years now. I hope that you continue to use your talent to bring awareness to the Wolf who is so severely misunderstood.
Make sure you check out this year's Honorable Mentions. There are photos of some of our favorite submissions there as well.
I would like to congratulate all of you and thank you for your sincere efforts to help the Wolf in the wild.
Here are the winning entries from our previous Wolf Awareness Week Contest winners:
Go to the2009 National Wolf Awareness Week Winning Entries 2009 National Wolf Awareness Week Honorable Mentions