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KWWF calendar contest deadline extended

ROSCOMMON – Area students and young artists will have a while longer to work on their drawings for the 2011-2012 Young Artist Calendar Contest sponsored by the Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Festival and Kirtland Community College, with festival organizers announcing the deadline has been extended to Thursday, May 12.

The original deadline was May 2. But, that was changed, because one of the biggest promoters of the calendar contest wasn’t able to visit area elementary and middle schools, as he’s done in previous years.

“Normally, each spring, Tom Dale visits dozens of area schools and talks to thousands of students,” said Dennis Mansfield, calendar contest coordinator and director of public relations at Kirtland. “This year, for personal reasons, Tom wasn’t able to visit those schools. So, we know, there’s not the usual awareness about the contest deadline.”

The annual calendar contest is open to all students in grades K-8. Last year, contest officials received nearly 900 entries picturing northern Michigan’s jack pine ecosystem, the summer home of the Kirtland’s warbler, or the rare song bird’s wintering grounds in the Bahamas.

Dale is a retired as a biology instructor from Kirtland and currently serves as the environmental educator for the Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve in Roscommon. He is also a member of the KWWF committee, serving as a “visiting naturalist” to promote the college, festival and the calendar contest.

“Some schools wait to have students do their drawings till Tom stops by,” Mansfield added. “Knowing that, we’re working to get the word out that won’t be happening this year and trying to give students more time to get their drawings done. After all, they’re the focus of the contest and their work makes the resulting calendar so special.”

Organizers are also providing young artists with an added incentive. The top three entries will receive gift certificates to the Kirtland Book Store, located in the Student Center on the college’s main campus near Roscommon. The first-place winner will receive a $75 gift certificate, with the second- and third-place receiving $50 and $25 certificates, respectively.

A total of 96 students will have their artwork selected for use in the next edition of the calendar. Entries must be drawn horizontally and be completed on an 8.5-by-11 inch sheet of white paper. All of the entries will be on display at the Kirtland House conference center the day of the festival, which this year will be on Saturday, May 21.

Calendar entries should be mailed to: Kirtland Community College, Attention: PR Office, 10775 N. St. Helen Road, Roscommon, Mich. 48653.

For more information on the annual calendar contest, persons may contact Mansfield via e-mail at dennis.mansfield@kirtland.edu or call 989-275-5000, extension 242.