Communications: News

Shakopee Fourth-Grader Wins First Place in Statewide Anti-Smoking Poster Contest

Wednesday, May 11, 2005  
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Allison Lynch, a fourth-grader at Red Oak Elementary in Shakopee, is the winner of the 2005 Minnesota Tar Wars Poster Contest. Her poster, which states ‘Tobacco-Free: The Perfect Fit for a Happy, Healthy Life,’ shows a puzzle piece ready to fill the remaining spot of a puzzle. The piece says tobacco-free. The other pieces say happy, healthy, white teeth and strong lungs. Posters were judged on artistry, creativity, originality and their ability to communicate a clear POSITIVE message to remain tobacco-free. Lynch’s poster will now advance to the National Tar Wars Poster Contest to be held this July in Washington, D.C., on July 19, 2005.

The Tar Wars program is taught by volunteer health care professionals, educators and community members who join together to address the issue of youth-targeted marketing and access to tobacco. These volunteers go into classrooms across the state and spread the Tar Wars message. Dr. Joshua Gibson, a resident with the University of Minnesota Methodist Family Medicine Residency Program, shared the Tar Wars message with Lynch’s class. The program is filled with fun and interactive lessons focusing on the long and short-term effects of tobacco use, image-based effects of tobacco use and reasons people use tobacco.

For her efforts, Lynch and one adult family member will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Tar Wars Poster Contest. She will also receive a framed certificate and a Tar Wars t-shirt.

The posters were judged by more than 500 family physicians during the Minnesota Academy of Family Physician’s Spring Refresher on April 20-22, 2005. Second place went to Kaitlin Kamm of North Intermediate School in St. Peter and third place went to Gina Hollister of Jefferson Elementary in Blaine.

Tar Wars was developed in 1988 by the Hall of Life at the Denver Museum of Natural History and Doctors Ought to Care (DOC). It has been implemented in 50 states and is owned and operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Tar Wars was introduced in Minnesota during the 1996-97 school year. The program now reaches close to 400,000 children nationally and internationally each year.

The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians is a professional association of approximately 3,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students organized to assist family physicians in providing quality medical care in Minnesota. The MAFP is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota and is a state chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the largest national medical organizations in the United States with more than 103,000 members.


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