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Downing Announces 2015 Holiday Card Design Contest Winners; Fills Collection Boxes with Donations for Toys for Tots
December 02, 2015

PITTSFIELD On Tuesday, December 1st, State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) hosted his annual Toys for Tots Holiday Open House, during which he announced the winners of his holiday greeting card design contest.               

Each year Downing mails approximately 3,500 holiday greeting cards to friends, family, supporters and colleagues across Massachusetts.   This is the second time he challenged local students, in grades 3-8, to design the card for him.

The Senator received 280 submissions from elementary and middle school students who attend ten different schools across western Massachusetts.  From these he chose an overall grand prize winner, which is the cover art for his 2015 holiday greeting card, as well as an Honorable Mention winner representing each grade.  Downing presented the winning students with an Official Senate Citation and a holiday ornament depicting the Massachusetts State House. All 280 submissions are on display in the Senator’s district office for the holiday season.

The winning card designs were submitted by:

  • Overall Winner: Hannah Chrzanowski, Age 13, Grade 8, St. Agnes Academy. Resident of Dalton;
  • Honorable Mention, Grade 3:  Maria Herrera, Age 8, Egremont Elementary School.  Resident of Pittsfield;
  • Honorable Mention, Grade 4:  Jaiden Reid, Age 10, Egremont Elementary School, Resident of Pittsfield;
  • Honorable Mention, Grade 5:  Brody Calvert & Wyatt Wellington, Age 11, St. Agnes Academy.  Residents of Windsor (pictured, above, left);
  • Honorable Mention, Grade 6:  Solia Herndon-Schmid & Mary Elliott, Age 12, Lenox Memorial Middle & High School.  Residents of Lenox;
  • Honorable Mention, Grade 7: Brandon Hyte, Age 11, St. Agnes Academy.  Resident of Hinsdale;
  • Honorable Mention, Grade 8:  Ciera Schwartzer, Age 13, Mount Greylock Regional High School.  Resident of Williamstown.

During the event Downing also collected unwrapped toys which will be distributed to local children by the Marines from the Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.  The Marines estimate that at least 150 toys were collected, enough to fill more than 4 Toys for Tots boxes.

Additional toy donations can be dropped off in Downing’s Pittsfield office, located at 7 North Street, Suite 307, until Friday, December 11th.  The Marines are scheduled to collect the boxes on December 14 to get them ready for Christmas delivery. 

Images of the winning card designs are below:

Overall Grand Prize Winner – Hannah Chrzanowski

Honorable Mention, Grade 3 – Maria Herrera

Honorable Mention, Grade 4 – Jaiden Reid

Honorable Mention, Grade 5 – Brody Calvert & Wyatt Wellington

Honorable Mention, Grade 6 – Solia Herndon-Schmid & Mary Elliot

Honorable Mention, Grade 7 – Brandon Hyte

Honorable Mention, Grade 8 – Ciera Schwartzer



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