Communications: News

Shakopee Student Receives National Award in Tar Wars Poster Contest

Thursday, July 21, 2005  
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Allison Lynch, a 10-year old Shakopee student, is the second place winner of the National Tar Wars Poster Contest. Lynch and her family were in Washington, D.C., July 18-19, 2005, to take part in the contest and related-activities. As the second place winner, Lynch received a $500 savings bond.

Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program that discourages tobacco use among the country’s youth. The program is administered by the American Academy of Family Physicians. In Minnesota, family physicians and medical students from the state academy (MAFP) visit fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms to share the Tar Wars message. They counteract the messages in tobacco advertising by talking with youth about how tobacco makes one’s breath smell and how smoking can impair one’s ability to be active. The students also learn about practical issues, such as how much it costs to use tobacco.

The follow-up Tar Wars poster contest encourages children to create posters that emphasize the positive aspects of not using tobacco. The winning posters were chosen from 41 entries – all winners of state poster contests. The first place award went to a fifth-grader from West Virginia.

While in Washington, D.C., Lynch was also able to visit Capitol Hill and talk with United States Senators Norm Coleman and Mark Dayton about tobacco issues. Her trip to the National Tar Wars Poster Contest was made possible thanks to a donation from United Hospital Foundation in St. Paul.

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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