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Essay contest winners announced during ‘Tis the Snowman Season’ event at post office

By Staff | Nov 29, 2010

Photo submitted Cape Coral Elementary School student Jenny Ann Jacoby won first place for the 6-8 age group, Cape Coral Elementary School student Ava Marii Benkhatar won third place for the 9-12 age group and Gulf Elementary School student Maya Allione won second place for the 6-8 age group for the holiday essay contest, “What the holiday season means to me.”

The “Tis the Snowman Season” event, which took place at the Cape Coral Post Office, was deemed a success due to an estimated 200 individuals that attended the event Saturday.
The party featured pictures with Santa Claus, a writing station for children to write letters to Santa, along with the announcement of the holiday essay contest winners.
Community volunteer Jody Van Cooney said she read close to 200 essays for the essay contest, which addressed the question of “What does the winter holiday mean to me here in Southwest Florida.” She said she was happy she only received one typed entry this time because she could tell the children wrote the essay by themselves.
Students from 11 schools participated in the essay contest, which included a few entries from different teachers at the same school.
The winter essay contest winners for the 6-8 age group was presented to Cape Coral Elementary School student Jenny Ann Jacoby, who won first place; Gulf Elementary School student Maya Allione won second place; and Manatee Elementary School student Paige Rosenthal won third place.
The winners for the 9-12 age group was presented to Gateway Charter School student Kelsey Brooks, who won first place; North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts student Kara Reed won second place; and
Cape Coral Elementary School student Ava Marii Benkhatar won third place.
Debra Mitchell, customer relations for the United States Post Service, said the “Tis the Snowman Season” event was great.
She said she took pictures of the members of 50 families Saturday while they sat on Santa’s lap.
“Santa was awesome,” Mitchell said, adding that he was very soft spoken and had a gift of calming the children down.
The writing station for those who wanted to write a special letter to Santa was also successful. Mitchell explained that if their was a return address on the letter, they will receive a letter back from Santa.
“It went super,” Van Cooney said about the event. “We had a steady crowd all morning.”
Van Cooney said the tables of activities remained quite busy throughout the event. She had about 12 volunteers assist her during the event.
“The kids all seemed pleased with what they were doing,” Van Cooney said. “Every kid wrote a letter to Santa.”
Van Cooney said the reason why she enjoys the event is because it is free.
“It is nice to have something that families can do together that doesn’t really cost them,” she said.