Retail stores along Plandome Road recently received a large helping hand in promoting holiday sales — 130 holiday-themed posters created by Manhasset-area elementary school students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
The posters, which were based on this year’s theme “Let It Snow,” were submitted as part of the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce’s annual poster contest.
“This is [my] most favorite thing I’ve done in Manhasset,” said Nancy Morris, this year’s poster chairperson. “This is a community event. It gets you in the spirit for Christmas.”
Manhasset High School students, bank employees and other volunteers got together on Nov. 23 at Apple Bank on Northern Boulevard to judge the contest, selecting three winners from each of the seven grades.
Morris, a resident of Munsey Park and member of the chamber for 24 years, said judging the poster contest is “a lot of fun to do.”
But this year’s judging, she said, was challenging with the 130 submissions setting a record.
Morris attributed the record number to the theme — “Let it snow.”
“We came up with a theme that allow[ed] [students] to get their artistic juices flowing,” she said.
The posters for the contest, Morris said, are meant to promote the holiday and Manhasset’s annual tree lighting ceremony which will take place on Friday Dec. 4 at 4:15 p.m. at Mary Jane Davies Park
“[The tree lighting ceremony is] one of the biggest events for families in town,” she said.
All of the posters submitted for the contest are put up in storefronts along Plandome Road so that residents are aware of the tree-lighting ceremony, Morris said.
Each student needed to include the date of the tree-lighting ceremony, the location of the ceremony and this year’s theme — “Let it Snow” — on the front of their poster.
Students also needed to include their name, phone number, email address, grade and school on the back of their poster.
During the judging process, Morris said, she and the other judges selected the top three posters from each grade level, creating a total of 21 winners.
But the students who are chosen as winners are not notified that their poster was selected after the judging takes place.
Instead, Morris said, she calls the winning student’s parents to tell them that their child was selected as a winner.
Morris said she implores the parents of winning students not to tell their children that they won until they come to the tree-lighting ceremony and meet with her.
At the ceremony, Morris said, all of the winning students are called up to a podium and have the opportunity to show off their poster to the crowd.
“The poster contest is really the highlight of the [ceremony],” Morris said. “It’s really exciting. [The students] get a lot of accolades. It’s really a very magical night.”
Members of the community can also weigh in on the posters, Morris said.
To determine the one poster out of the 21 winners that will be named the grand prize winner, Morris said, members of the community can go online to www.manhassetny.org and vote for their favorite poster.
Morris said approximately five posters will be eligible for the grand prize.
The student whose poster is selected as the grand prize winner and their parents will be invited to the chamber’s meeting in January, Morris said, where the winning student will be recognized by the chamber.
The winning student and their parents will have the opportunity to take a picture with members of the chamber, Morris said.
The chamber will also award the winning student a gift certificate to Matty’s Toy Stop.
Seventh grade students who are now too old to participate in the contest helped out this year by being included in the judging process and by helping put posters up along Plandome Road, Morris said.
“They remember how important it was to them to see their poster in a window,” she said. “There is a lot of excitement over the whole thing.”