With 1,500 entries in this year's WTOC Saint Patrick's Day coloring contest, our judges had a difficult decision to make. They carefully weighed each piece, discussing concepts like symmetry, use of color, adherence to the rules, and originality. They debated for an hour, finally coming to a unanimous decision.
Austin Josey created the first place work of art, with an incredibly detailed Saint Patrick's-themed drawing. Titled "Savannah: the End of the Rainbow," Josey's artwork follows a rainbow to its pot of gold...only this pot was filled with much more. Inside were City Hall, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and Forsyth Fountain.
In an interesting turn of events, we discovered that winning is nothing new to Austin: he produced the winning entry in our 2002 coloring contest! His patriotic-themed shamrock took the prize when he was just a first-grader, a fact that shocked the judges when they found out he had been chosen for the second time. The Luck of the Irish had nothing to do with this. It was talent, artistry, and an obvious interest in Savannah's Saint Patrick's Day celebration.
As this year's winner, Austin receives a special invitation: to officially kick off the festivities. For the first year ever, our winning entrant got to "green the fountains" at Forsyth Park on March 9, beginning a new tradition in the Hostess City. He and the other winners will take home prizes from WTOC and sponsors of the coloring contest, First Student and Abercorn Family Dentistry.
Austin hails from Mrs. Blackston's class at St. James' Catholic School, where he is a fifth-grader. Several of her other students took home honors this year, as well. The other winners, with first-place prizes in their divisions, were: Gracie Smith, from Mrs. Wright's class at Savannah Christian School, and Bonny K. Woods, from Mrs. Russell's class at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School.
The second place winners were: Grace Friday from St. James Catholic School, Teresa Woodcock, also of St. James Catholic School, and Shelbi Sessoms from Hancock Day School.
The third place winners were: Emma Carbo from St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School, Catie Morris of St. James' School, and Thomas McCarthy from St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School.
The judges for this year's contest were Sonny Dixon, Jody Chapin, Grand Marshal John Burke, Parade Adjutant Ron Webber, Parade Executive Committee member Frank Baker, and Dr. Ann Linton from Abercorn Family Dentistry.