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A winning idea: Fifth-grader's seat belt poster now a billboard


A Runnymede Elementary School fifth-grader stood in the shadow of a Westminster billboard yesterday and couldn't stop shivering.

For Lisa Garner, a shy 10-year-old, it was too cold outside to be admiring her name in huge block letters next to a reproduction of her artwork that earned top honors in the 12th annual Westminster Police Department poster contest.

Lisa's winning entry, reproduced on the billboard along Railroad Avenue (Route 27) near Route 140, was one of 1,200 entries. Hers was judged the best of 60 finalists -- first-, second- and third-place finishers from each of 20 Carroll County elementary schools -- said Cpl. Michael Bible, who serves as DARE and community relations officer for Westminster police. He said PNE Media donated the billboard space.

This year's contest had a "Buckle Up" theme. Lisa's entry depicted safety belts joined at the buckle with caricature arms, eyes and tiny legs.

Her message above the caricature: "Safety is only a click away Buckle Up!" Beneath the caricature, she wrote: "Separate, we can do anything but joined together WE CAN HELP SAVE LIVES. Please Buckle Up."

Lisa's parents, Andy and Mary Garner, stood by yesterday, obviously enjoying the attention Lisa had earned.

"It hasn't sunk in yet, that her drawing was the winning one from 1,200 entries," Mary Garner said.

Lisa said her poster was inspired by a pamphlet cover her aunt had about the heart.

"The heart had life with arms and legs and eyes," she said. "I just wanted to give my drawing some life."

Lisa learned about the contest from her art teacher, Larry Henning. She found out that she had won at a Police Safety Banquet last month when her name was announced.

Her mother said that Lisa likes to draw and do arts and crafts. But according to her father, the contest winner would prefer receiving a new basketball hoop for Christmas.

Pub Date: 12/24/98

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