December 3, 2013, Pittsburgh, PA – The holidays are a time for cozy sweaters, home cooked meals, and family time spent around the fireplace. But for many families struggling just to get by, these experiences are often luxuries beyond reach. That's why 10-year-old Emma Maphis of Asbury Elementary in Fairview, PA is wishing a "warm and fuzzy" holiday for everyone this year.
Emma was selected as a winner in the 10th Annual Edgar Snyder & Associates "My Holiday Wish" Coloring Contest. For her original creation, Edgar Snyder & Associates awarded her with at $100 gift card and featured her artwork on the back of the law firm's 2013 holiday greeting card. Emma was among three runners-up in the contest, and one grand prize winner.
The contest asked students to illustrate their response to the question: "What is your holiday wish?" Emma's drawing depicts a warm home scene where a cat and dog peacefully nap in front of a brick fireplace while their owner enjoys a cup of hot chocolate. A winter snowstorm rages outside the window. The message on the picture reads, "May all of your holidays be warm and fuzzy."
Emma was inspired to submit the "warm & fuzzy" holiday scene because she knows that not every family has a home or the means to buy warm clothes, and hopes that others will remember those less fortunate this holiday season.
"Looking at this year's entries, I was inspired by the level of creativity and thoughtfulness coming from such young children," said Attorney Edgar Snyder, whose law firm has supported community service initiatives like these for more than 30 years. "It's a great way to support local schools and also deliver an encouraging message to our staff and clients."
Looking at this year's entries, I was inspired by the level of creativity and thoughtfulness coming from such young children.Attorney Edgar Snyder
Students across Western Pennsylvania submitted more than 800 entries to this year's contest. An independent panel made up of local parenting bloggers and an advertising executive met on November 4th to judge the entries based on design and creativity. The judges included included: Ed Bittner, Lamar Advertising account executive; Nadine Champsi, writer at The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog; Samantha Rawagah, writer at My Jordanian Nugget; and Becky Willis, writer at ‘lil Burghers.
"Emma has been drawing since I can remember," said Emma's mother Amanda Maphis. "I have to force her to put down her crayons and go to bed. She was very surprised when she found out she won. She literally jumped out of her chair when I told her the news!"
Emma also loves listening to music and is a member of the band at Asbury Elementary. She is currently learning to play the drums.
Adelle Schott, age 10 won the $1,000 grand prize, which the firm donated on her behalf to McKnight Elementary in Pittsburgh, PA. She also received a $250 gift card for herself and her artwork is featured on the cover of the firm's holiday card. Two other runners-up received a $100 gift card and have their artwork featured on the back of the firm's holiday greeting card: Grace Jasper, age 9, and Trey Trybus, age 6, both of Cambria Heights Elementary in Carrolltown, PA. To view all of the students' artwork, visit edgarsnyder.com/coloringcontest.
Emma's mother Amanda has a special holiday wish, as well. "As a parent, I wish that everyone would be more aware of the blessings in their everyday lives this holiday season. It's easy to take for granted the warmth that we have, the clothes on our back, and the food on our table that so many families go without. We are all truly blessed."
Edgar Snyder & Associates is a law firm representing injury victims and people with disabilities with offices in Altoona, Ebensburg, Erie, Johnstown, and Pittsburgh.
Disclosure: Amanda Maphis is an employee at the law firm's Erie office. An outside panel of individuals anonymously judged the entries and was unaware of Emma's relationship to the firm.
Download a high resolution version of Emma's headshot here. High resolution versions of student artwork available upon request.
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