W.E. Cundiff fifth grader Ellie McCormack was recently named the grand prize winner in the “Team Up for Fire Safety” art contest sponsored at Cundiff and Herman L. Horn Elementary Schools by the Roanoke County Fire Department, the Rockingham Insurance Group and the Simmons Insurance Agency of Vinton and Moneta.
First place winners of the art contest like Ellie received gift bags and Walmart gift certificates for $50. However, as the grand prize winner, she also received a ride from her home to school in a Vinton Fire Department fire truck.
Accompanying her to school on December 19 were Vinton Fire/EMS Captain Chad Helms and Medic/Firefighters Fran Gonzalez and Zach Poole.
Her winning drawing was based on the theme “Every Second Counts; Plan 2 Ways Out.” Students were encouraged to help educate their families about planning ahead for fire emergencies by designating two separate escape routes in case of a home fire.
Winners were chosen based on creativity, the quality of the artwork itself, and how well the theme is incorporated into the drawing.
Award winners were announced by Bill Bayer of the Rockingham Insurance Group’s Harrisonburg office at a banquet at the Vinton Fire Station on December 7. That’s when Ellie and her family found out about the bonus prize ride in the fire engine.
McCormack’s parents are Russ and Tiffany McCormack of Vinton. Her art teacher at Cundiff is Lisa Jervis.
McCormack won in competition with about 400 entries combined from HLH and WEC. Her father said this is the first time Ellie has entered the Fire Art Safety contest, although she participates in the Roanoke County Gifted Art program and “loves to draw.”