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Winners Of 2016 NMS Scarecrow Contest Announce Charity Donations



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Newtown Middle School's top three winning groups from this year's Scarecrow Contest recently announced which charities will receive their donations from contest earnings.aviellefoundation.org.theanimalcenter.org, and more information about FAITH Food Pantry is available on its Facebook Page, FAITH Food Pantry.animalplanet.com/helping-pets/roar.

The scarecrows were on display at the school and open for voting Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6. NMS art teachers Leigh Anne Coles and Kristen Ladue oversaw the contest this year. The annual program is a fundraiser that challenges participating eighth grade student groups to design and construct scarecrows. Once the creations are on display on the school's front lawn, the public is invited to vote on their favorite with corresponding $1 donations for each vote. The money raised is split between the top three winning groups to donate to charities of their choosing.

The first place group received $729. The second place group received $486, and the third place group received $243 from the total raised through public voting.

This year's first place scarecrow was "Hakuna Matata - Lion King " created by Elise Beier, Riley Burns, Sarah Nowacki, and Kate Petersen. The group decided to donate its $729 to The Avielle Foundation. The foundation's mission is to prevent violence and build compassion through neuroscience research, community engagement, and education, according to its website,

This year's second place scarecrow was "Buckbeak" created by Nancy Chung, Mackenzie Hughes, and Ava Schwartz. The girls decided to split their winnings between FAITH Food Pantry and The Animal Center. Both charities will receive $243 from the group. FAITH Food Pantry is located at the Tier One building at 31 Pecks Lane, and provides food and home supplies for Newtown's residents in need. The Animal Center works to rescue, adopt, and spay/neuter as many homeless companion animals as its foster network can support in order to reduce the number of animals entering shelters. More information about The Animal Center is available online at its website

The third place scarecrow was "Five Nights of Freddy" created by Hannah Ruhs, Madison Hitchcock, Michaela Intemann, Sofia Gusto-Sandy, and Melissa Travali. The group will donate its $243 to the Animal Planet's Reach Out Act Respond (ROAR) foundation, which partners with animal and wildlife organizations to inspire people to make the world a better place for animals, according to the foundation. More about ROAR is available at

The top three winning Scarecrow Contest group members gathered for a photo on Thursday, December 8. Pictured standing from left are Riley Burns, Sarah Nowacki, Elise Beier, Kate Petersen, Ava Schwartz, Nancy Chung, Michaela Intemann, Melissa Travali, and Hannah Ruhs. On the floor are Sofia Giusto-Sandy, left, and Madison Hitchcock. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
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