Students awarded for drug, addiction awareness efforts

Works of art created by high school students who entered the Youth Addiction Awareness Film and Art Competition was so well-received, there were several requests to buy them.

From those offers, an idea was born.

Next year the art work – depicting the life-crumbling result of drug addiction – could be sold at a silent auction and money raised used to continue the annual contest, said Rich Brueckner, assistant state’s attorney.

Money awarded to winners this year was from cash seized in drug arrests. Next year, the United Way will partner with the State’s Attorney’s Office and prizes will be higher, Brueckner said.

“The United Way loves the idea and they have greater resources, in terms of commercials and billboards and prize money. They have committed to give us $10,000 in prize money for next year,” he said.

The contest will also be expanded to a tri-area event, he said.

More than 50 students entered this year’s challenge, more than twice as many as expected. Prizes were awarded at 3rd Friday in May.

In the short film category, winners were Madison Cuesta, first place, $1,000; Michael Lynch, second place, $500; and Michaela Miller, third place, $100.

In the artwork category, winners were Stephanie Rimmer, first place, $1,000; and Maria Hernandez-Solis, second place, $500.

There was a four-way tie for fourth place, each with a $100 prize. Winners were Megan Abbey, Kaylan Peattie, Lydia Marsh and Joseph Wood.

Submissions are the property of the State’s Attorney’s Office. Some of them are being used by the Health Department in outreach pamphlets, commercials and on billboards, Brueckner said.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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