Write a Theme Contest Winners Announced


HAMMOND, IN - More than 450 entries for the Write A Theme Contest: What I Want For Christmas were received at the Indiana Welcome Center during the early part of December. The essay contest was a special competition held in conjunction with the inaugural "A Christmas Story Comes Home" exhibit.  While some of them were addressed to Santa, others to "Mom and Dad," the response was overwhelming. The Welcome Center received themes from children as young as 5 and adults in their 70's.

            Numerous entries asked for the "hot toys of the season" and even more asked for true Christmas miracles and to spend more time with their family. "There were countless entries that truly stood out; so many of them were creative. We even received poems, photos and drawings," stated Erika Scheeringa, Director of Public Relations for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau.

            The grand prize winner for the 9 and under category was Alex Torres from Whiting for a creative "futuristic story" of how he was on Santa's good list and got what he wanted, a Wii game system. The first runner up in the 9 and under category was Jordin Henman from Hammond. Henman asked for his/her mom to be happy and to be with her for Christmas. Morgan Bates, from Hammond asked for an end to the war.

            The grand prize winner for the 10 to 18 category was Brian Hedge from Hammond who wished for numerous things including taking back the bad things he had done in the past. "This essay is so true of so many people," stated Erika Scheeringa, Director of Public Relations.  The first runner up in the 10 to 18 age category was Zachary Suggs from Dyer; a very well written and essay promising to be a "good little boy." Francisco Encarnacion from Hammond was the second runner up in the 10 to 18 category. Encarnacion wrote his essay about receiving a remote control which could control is entire house that would help his entire family with whatever they wished for or needed.

            Ben Clark's poem "What I Want for Christmas" was the winner in the 19 years and older category. Clark, from Lansing, IL, asked for every day to be Christmas, so we could celebrate it all year long. The first runner up in the 19 and over category was Tracie Rex from Crown Point. She asked for the "joy of giving and watching her family receive." John Hunt's theme asked for a "photographic gift memory" so he could remember all of the gifts that he had received through the years.  

            The grand prize winners in each category received gift baskets valued at more than $100. "We wish we could grant everyone their Christmas miracles, but the list was so great. A special thank you for all of the entries that we received, they truly touched the judges' hearts.