Big winners

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All of Cristin Dillard’s third-grade library students participated in the Southeast Alabama Gas District’s poster contest this year. Select posters will be displayed at the SEAGD’s Brundidge Office. Below, Spencer Messick, 8, threw up his hands and exclaimed, “Yes!” when he found out he’d won a $100 gift card from SEAGD.

Three Pike County students receive $100 gift cards in SEAGD writing, poster contest

Three students from the Pike County School System are winners in the Southeast Alabama Gas District’s poster and essay competition, “Students: Our Number One Resource.”

Spencer Messick, a third-grader in Cristin Dillard’s library class at Banks School was a poster winner.

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Kaytlyn LaJoi Williams, an eighth-grader in Amy Stubblefield’s class at Pike County High School was a middle school essay winner and Trichina Vaughn, a ninth-grader in Kim Dunn’s class at Pike County School, was a high school essay winner.

Messick’s mom, Linda Messick, said she was very proud of her son. He thought that his poster was “really good” and hoped in might win.

Even though he had hopes of winning, it was still a surprise to the young artist.

When SEAGD’s Shannon Gooden announced that Messick had won, he threw up his hands and exclaimed, “Yes!”

Williams said her essay was all about “going green.”

“Going green means a lot of things but the main thing is that we all need to recycle,” she said. “Recycling helps keep things clean. When we recycle, we use old things to make new things. Recycling keeps trash out of our landfills and that’s important because we are running out of places to put our garbage.”

The focus of Vaughn’s essay was 8-11 calls.

“Before you dig anywhere, you should call 8-11,” Vaughn said. “If you call that number, they will tell you where it’s safe to dig. If you don’t know what’s under the ground, you could hit something like a gas line or some other pipeline and that could be dangerous.

You could injure yourself or the environment or you could get a fine because it’s against the law to dig without calling.”

Vaughn said that, even when digging something as simple as a garden, it’s still “the law to call 8-11.”

“I ended my essay with ‘Just do it!’ like Nike,” she said. “I think that’s why I won.”

Each winning student received a $100 gift card from SEAGD.

More than 160 students representing 16 different schools and seven school systems participated in the contest.

Eight entries were chosen to receive awards in three categories. The theme of the poster contest was safety. The middle school essays expressed ideas on conservation and ideas for uses for natural gas. High school students explored how the pipeline safety act helps keep communities safe.

“It’s great to have an opportunity like this to return something to our students, and also give them a chance to learn more about the natural gas industry and how it impacts the world around us,” said SEAGD President and CEO Greg Henderson. “SEAGD’s Give Back to Schools initiative returns more than $100,000 each year to area schools, and those funds impact all students in public schools served by our company.

Now, with our student poster and essay competitions, we have another way to connect in our communities and in our local schools. We consider it an honor to serve the faculty, students and parents of these school systems.”

The Southeast Alabama Gas District is a municipally-owned natural gas system serving 35 communities throughout the Southeast quadrant of the state. SEAGD is owned by the cities of Abbeville, Andalusia, Brundidge, Dothan, Elba, Enterprise, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Greenville, Headland, Luverne, Opp, Ozark and Troy.

Representatives from the SEAGD presented the awards to the students Wednesday, during SEAGD’s annual Customer Appreciation Week.