By Barb Arland-Fye
Thank you to all 837 children from throughout the Diocese of Davenport who participated in The Catholic Messenger Christmas Card Contest for 2009.
Choosing an overall winner is always a challenge because of the many wonderful drawings we receive. But this year, there was no question that top honors should go to 11-year-old Amy Le, a sixth-grader at All Saints Catholic School in Davenport.
“I am shocked right now,” Amy said when informed that her entry had been chosen as the design for the Christmas card and the front page of this week’s Christmas edition of The Catholic Messenger. Drawings by winners in each age category also are featured in this week’s issue.
Amy, the daughter of Huong Le and Quy Le of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, spent hours outside of school creating a nativity scene with colored pencils that is hopeful, gentle and vibrant.
“I thought about Christmas and Baby Jesus and remembered all the animals coming in to see Jesus and I thought about the Star of Bethlehem, too,” she said describing her design process.
“I thought about real animals and how they’re colored. I wanted the blanket (covering the newborn Jesus) to pop out, so I thought of bright colors … I wanted the baby Jesus to be the main idea of the whole picture.”
Amy loves to draw and was featured in The Catholic Messenger this year for another art contest she won. “I like to express myself with drawing,” said Amy, who developed her artistic skills with the assistance of her older sister, Mary. “She taught me everything she knows.”
Elise Ward, All Saints art teacher, said Amy spent a lot of time on her drawing. “She’s one of those students who were more than excited to take it home and work on it.”
For a career, Amy is thinking she might become an art teacher. Ward adds, “She has an absolute talent.”
Other artists who won first- and second-place honors in The Catholic Messenger Christmas Card Contest were: grades K-2 — Grace Yarolem, second grade, St. Joseph Catholic School and Parish in DeWitt, first place, and Leah Zeimet, first grade, John F. Kennedy Catholic School and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport, second place; grades 3-4 — Joseph Verry, fourth grade, Coralville Central School and St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville, first place, and Hannah Olka, fourth grade, All Saints Catholic School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish in Davenport, second place; grades 5-6, Katelyn Murhammer, fifth grade, Regina Elementary School in Iowa City and St. Thomas More Parish, first place, and Elisa Espinoza, fifth grade, Regina and St. Thomas More Parish, second place.