Gabrielle Simano of Silver Creek High School was the winner of the competition to design the logo for the 2013 Laurel Run.
Each year, the Laurel Run Planning Committee holds a contest among area high school students to design the Laurel Run logo. This year, a total of 52 designs were submitted. Internal voting at The Resource Center and Filling the Gap, Inc., identified eight finalists. People had the opportunity to vote for their favorite designs at this year's TRC Expo and online through the OBSERVER's website.
After all of the votes were counted, Simano's design was in the lead, receiving 212 of the 942 votes cast. In second place was fellow Silver Creek student Brandon Mullen, whose design received 181 votes. In third place was Elizabeth Gilman of Forestville. The other five finalists were Ashley Cappadonia, Allison Fisher and Madelyn Troutner of Hewes BOCES, Kayla Sorenson of Sherman and Rachel Walker of Falconer.
For winning the competition, Simano will receive a $100 Visa card.
"It's been an absolutely wonderful experience running in this competition," she said of the design contest. "My competitors had some wonderful logos as well, and I am so proud to have won."
Simano's design will appear on this year's Laurel Run T-shirts and other promotional materials. She was especially excited to win the contest because she has been training to run in this year's Laurel Run 8-kilometer race.
"I'm going to be running in this race, so I'm very excited to be wearing my own logo during the event," Simano said. "I'd like to thank everyone who voted, and I hope to see you all there."
The 17th annual Laurel Run begins Friday, July 19, with the traditional Jamestown-to-Dunkirk relay run, which features representatives from area schools running the different legs of the relay. The event begins at about 8:30 a.m. at The Resource Center's facility at 75 Jones and Gifford avenues in Jamestown and ends at Washington Park in Dunkirk, where the city will host a victory celebration from noon to 2 p.m.
The following morning in Silver Creek, there will be an 8-kilometer run, a 5-kilometer fitness walk, a 1-kilometer fun walk, children's runs and Laurel's Lap, in which anyone with a disability is invited to take a lap around the track at the ballfield downtown. In the afternoon, there will be a motorcycle dice run.
Laurel Run was created by Wayne and Elaine Hotelling in honor of their oldest daughter, who has Down syndrome. The event is designed to celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities. Money raised through Laurel Run goes to Filling the Gap, Inc., which works with The Resource Center to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Laurel Run proceeds are used to fund disability awareness and prevention efforts in Chautauqua County and to provide employment and work training opportunities for adults with disabilities.
For more information or to sign up to participate in Laurel Run, phone 934-3952 or 661-4735, or visit www.laurel-run.com.
The Laurel Run Planning Committee extends its thanks to the OBSERVER for again allowing people to cast votes online during the logo contest, as this enables more people to see the talented designs created by young artists.