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Mason City 5th grader wins 2nd place in poster contest

Evelyn Hickman
Evelyn Hickman

MASON CITY – Fire Chief Bob Platts, Evelyn Hickman, a 5th grader at Lincoln Intermediate, and Evelyn’s family attended a luncheon at Jewell Fire Department on Saturday, April 18. Evelyn was honored as the second place 5th grade finisher in a state-wide contest poster contest from last year’s 2014 National Fire Prevention Week. The contest was open to all 3rd- 5th graders across the State including the over 1,000 in Mason City. The members of the Mason City Fire Department selected the following local winners:

3rd Grade – Ava Clausen from Jefferson Elementary
4th Grade – Neveaha Wicke from Harding Elementary
5th Grade – Evelyn Hickman from Lincoln Intermediate

“It’s always so hard to pick just one from each grade” according to Fire Marshal Jamey Medlin. “We have so many talented kids here in Mason City.”  This state contest is way to bring the Fire Prevention week message to the kids. This year’s message, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” is a message Fire Marshal Medlin wants to make sure all children and families know. “Evelyn’s poster really captured the theme of 2014 and also the importance of families having fire drills and being prepared in the event of fire.”

The State judges award a first through third prize in each grade from entries from Fire Departments all across the State. “Not only do we think we have very artistic children here in Mason City, but the State wide judges also seem to think so,” reports Chief Platts. “Our schools, teachers and children have been recognized by being a State level winner every year for the past four years.”

The State poster contest is way to bring the Fire Prevention week message to the kids. This year’s message, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives” is a message Fire Marshal Medlin wants to make sure all children and families know. “Evelyn’s poster really captured the theme of 2014 and also the importance of families having fire drills and being prepared in the event of fire,” according to Fire Marshal Medlin. Evelyn’s teachers and parents all say that Evelyn is such a leader among her peers and always leads by example. Fire safety is no example. Tanya Betts, Evelyn’s mother, remembers Evelyn talking with a friend of hers last fall. It was apparent that the friend and her family did not do monthly testing of their smoke alarms. Evelyn talked with her friend about how important it was from a 5th grader’s point of view according to her mother. Ms Betts has ”no doubt that the friend’s family now tests their smoke alarms every month just like we do because of Evelyn’s leadership.”

The nine State-wide contest winners were honored on Saturday at Jewell Fire Department with a luncheon and ceremony. Chief Platts was proud to attend with Evelyn and her family. Evelyn’s winning poster will be on display at the Hall of Flame at the State Fair in August for viewing by over 1 million fairgoers. Recognition at the State level was so unexpected to Evelyn.

However, she thinks “it’s great that art can get a good message out and maybe save someone’s life.” The members of the Mason City Fire Department think so too!

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