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Stop Drug and Alcohol Abuse Poster Contest winners are announced

The grand prize poster chosen for the cover of the 2012 Stop Drug and Alcohol Abuse Poster Contest Calendar was created by Violet Penman, a sixth-grader at Hudson Middle School.

Monday night, November 28, parents and their children gathered in the Hudson High School auditorium for the 21st annual Stop Drug and Alcohol Abuse Poster Contest award ceremony.

This year 1,400 students from 18 different schools countywide entered the contest which St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson started in 1989.

A committee of judges votes on all of the entries. The top ten entries in each grade category are awarded certificates for a $100 savings bond.

Of those the top three vote-getters in each grade are awarded a spot on the calendar.

The grand prize, a certificate for a $500 savings bond, went to Hudson Middle School student Violet Penman.

A welcome by Max Hansen, guidance counselor at Hudson Prairie Elementary School, kicked off the event.

"Students, you might think you are here because you are a great artist or you may think you are here because you are really creative or you might think you are here because of luck but the real reason you are here is because you didn't give up. Each poster got selected because you didn't give up," said Hansen, who has been instrumental in the contest since the beginning.

Hansen also encouraged the students to talk with their parents.

"Their hope for you is that you will become the best person you can be," said Hansen. "Sometimes it is not easy to say 'Dad do you have a minute?' but part of parenting is all about, listening when there is a concern."

St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson reminded the crowd that this should be one of the things you will remember as you look back on your life.

Lastly, St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts reminded everyone that education is still the best way to fight the war on drugs.

St. Croix County Deputy Josh Stenseth gave a demonstration with his K-9 Partner, Dex. He was on hand after the program to answer questions.

Students whose posters were selected for the calendar are Violet Penman, Kye Bartlett, Ella Diedrich, Duabhnub Merrie Thao, Olivia Goulette, Halle Powers, Anna Veenendall, Chloe Germain, Emalie Marion, Elise Kolbeck, Madi Edwards, Hannah Schneckenberger and Bryce Marion.

All of the certificate holders are reminded to turn in their certificates for the actual savings bond no later than Dec. 27 at the downtown Hudson branch of Associated Bank.

The event is totally sponsored by foundations, area civic groups and business contributions.

The calendars will be distributed to schools and are available at the St. Croix County Government Center for $5 each or three for $10.