The Hamlet Historic Depot and Museums, along with Operation Lifesaver, recently announced the winner of the month-long coloring contest for kids.
Emily Hatcher, a 5-year-old who entered the contest while on a field trip with Margie’s Treasure Chest, was chosen as the recipient of a bicycle donated by Walmart, a bean bag chair donated by Bobby’s Furniture and a goody bag from the museum and Operation Lifesaver.
“She’s very excited to learn to ride a bike with no training wheels,” said Emily’s mom Amanda Hatcher, of Rockingham.
“The contest ran in the community calendar section of the Daily Journal, and we promoted it on Facebook,” said Miranda Chavis, museum manager. “We had 75 to 100 entries, and the winner was chosen by a random name drawing.”
Some kids submitted entries through their nursery programs, while others stopped by the museum with their parents.
“We decided to do a random drawing because art is so subjective — beauty is in the eye of the beholder and who’s to say what’s the most beautiful,” said Chavis.
The goal of the contest was to encourage train safety and awareness, through coloring book illustrations.
John Daniels, the local representative for Operation Lifesaver, helped present Emily with her prizes. Daniels, a retired conductor for CSX, said train safety has been an important part of his life for years.
“I’ve seen a lady run into my train, and I’ve seen a lot of close calls with people playing ‘chicken’ on the tracks or just not paying attention,” said Daniels. “I’ve seen first hand just how important train safety is.”
Daniels first became involved with Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit railroad safety organization, about 19 years ago as a volunteer. He later became certified as a presenter and trainer for the group.
“I talk to all age groups about railroad safety; school children, truck drivers, bus drivers,” he said. “The purpose of this coloring contest was to help spread that message to young children.”
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com