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SANGAMON COUNTY STUDENTS WINNERS IN ADOPTION ESSAY CONTEST

SPRINGFIELD, IL, NOVEMBER 19, 1997 -- Four Scott County students were among 16 adoption essay contest winners honored by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services during Wednesday evening ceremonies held at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.
Jenna Brown of St. Aloysius School-Springfield and Mary Gamble of Athens High School won first place awards, while Elizabeth Ladage of Pawnee Junior High School and Kristen Kohl, of Pawnee High School received second places in competition with other students from Sangamon County. Winning essays were based on the theme "Adoption: It's just another way of making a family."

Wednesday night's award presentation coincides with November celebrations tied to Adoption Awareness Month. The DCFS-sponsored adoption essay contest was open to all 7th-12th grade students in Scott, Morgan, Macoupin, Sangamon and Adams Counties. Savings bonds donated by local businesses were given to first and second place winners in junior high and high school categories. DCFS Chief of staff Carolyn Cochran Kopel awarded first place winners a $200 savings bond and awarded second place winners $100 savings bonds. Prizes were given in junior high and high school categories for each county, except for Scott and Morgan Counties, which were combined.

Winners and participating businesses for each county are listed below.

Adams County

Junior high category: first place, Michael Spring, St. Boniface School, Quincy; second place, Devin Buss, St. Boniface School, Quincy.

High school category: first place, Crystal Forsythe, Central High School, Camp Point; second place, Robert Yu, Quincy Senior High School.

Participating businesses: First Merchantile Trust and Savings Bank, Farmer's Bank of Liberty, Farmer's State Bank of Camp Point.

Macoupin County

Junior high category: first place, Valerie Barrett, St. Simon and Jude School, Gillespie; second place, Vanessa Barrett, St. Simon and Jude School, Gillespie.

High school category: first place, Stephanie Harbour, Gillespie High School; second place, Juanita Dyer, Northwestern High School, Hettick.

Participating businesses: First National Bank-Virden, Carlinville National Bank, Modesto Bank, National Bank of Mt. Olive, Bank of Palmyra, Citizens Bank-Shipman, First National Bank-Staunton.

Morgan County

High school category: first place, Chelsey Hankins, Westfair Christian Academy, Jacksonville; second place, Laura Fairfield, Westfair Christian Academy, Jacksonville.

Participating businesses: Elliott State Bank-Jacksonville, Jacksonville Savings Bank, The Farmer's State Bank and Trust Company-Jacksonville, Chapin State Bank, First State Bank of Winchester, Wemple State Bank-Waverly.

Sangamon County

Junior high category: first place, Jenna Brown, St. Aloysius School; second place, Elizabeth Ladage, Pawnee Junior High School.

High school category: first place, Mary Gamble,Athens High School; second place, Kristen Kohl, Pawnee High School.

Participating businesses:

Scott County

Junior high category: first place, Sarah Long, Bluffs Community School; second place, Alexis Barnett, Bluffs Community School.

Participating businesses: Elliott State Bank-Jacksonville, Jacksonville Savings Bank, The Farmer's State Bank and Trust Company-Jacksonville, Chapin State Bank, First State Bank of Winchester, Wemple State Bank-Waverly.

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