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Tavares, Florida 32778


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For immediate release - Feb. 25, 2005

Essay contest entries due by Monday, Feb. 28

TAVARES — All entries for the “Because of Winn Dixie” essay contest sponsored by the Lake County Department of Economic Development and Tourism are due four days from now on Monday, Feb. 28.

Since announcing the contest earlier this month, dozens of essays have poured into the Lake County Welcome Center for a chance at winning some great prizes from the hit movie and local author. The blockbuster movie “Because of Winn Dixie” is based on the book written by former Clermont resident Kate DiCamillo.

The contest is open to all elementary, middle and high schoolers, and prizes will be awarded in those categories of students. In each category, the top essay will garner an autographed copy of “Because of Winn Dixie,” two movie passes, a movie soundtrack and a $25 book gift certificate; second place will earn two movie passes, a movie soundtrack, a copy of “Because of Winn Dixie” and a $15 book gift certificate; and third prize will receive two movie passes, a copy of the book and a $10 book gift certificate.

No submitted essay is to exceed 300 words. Each submission must list the name, age, grade, school, home address and phone number for the entrant. To enter the contest, students are encouraged to write an essay on the following question:

“Author Kate DiCamillo said the town of Naomi, Fla., was patterned after Clermont. ‘A super, super place to grow up, outside in my bare feet, up in a tree — reading,’ she said. She also stated that growing up in Lake County ‘gave her the freedom to write.’ Please explain, in your own words, how growing up in Lake County is special to you.”

Entries may be mailed to the Lake County Welcome Center, 20763 U.S. Highway 27, Groveland 34736, or e-mailed to essaycontest@co.lake.fl.us. All essay contest winners will be announced and prizes will be handed out during a 2:30 p.m. celebration Wednesday, March 9, at the Ingraham Community Center, 317 S. Ingraham Ave, Tavares.

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Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445
cpatton@co.lake.fl.us

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