Student wins Hormel contest

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Austin fourth grader Patrick Sheehan, who plays soccer and hockey and likes to skateboard, has won the second annual Hormel Foods Home+Heart+Art holiday greeting card contest for a picture he drew depicting Santa Claus and his reindeer soaring over a Christmas tree.

The winning entry will be used as the company’s 2008 holiday card image and will be mailed to thousands this winter.

The contest was open to all non-professional artists kindergarten through 12th grade who are dependent children of active Hormel employees. More than 40 entries were received for the contest where the winner receives a $500 scholarship sent directly to the winner’s chosen institution and applied to the cost of materials, art supplies or art education.

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Patrick, his family and Hormel executives were on hand Monday at Hormel’s corporate office to celebrate the occasion, where Patrick received a certificate and a package of Hormel merchandise and where it was announced that Patrick will donate the money to Austin Catholic Schools.

Patrick attends Austin Catholic Elementary.

“I think that was a wonderful choice for you to choose,” said Jeff Ettinger, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods. “You will benefit, and your classmates will benefit.”

Patrick said his inspiration for his drawing was a Christmas magazine he saw and added that it took him about 10 minutes to complete it.

He said he has been interested in art since kindergarten.

“I like to draw optical illusions,” he said. “We just started that this year. I think it’s cool doing that.”

Mary Holtorf, director of Austin Public Schools, called Patrick’s donation “amazing.”

“It really touched me because we teach about community service and giving back, and it’s just amazing that he’s putting his faith into practice by doing this for his school,” she said. “I think about when I was in fourth grade, and I don’t know if I would have given it back. It just shows a tremendous amount of character on his part. And it was his idea. His mom called me and said, ‘this is what he wants to do.’ it was incredible.”

Contestants were asked to create artwork representing one of the following themes: holiday decoration, winter activities, family fun/celebration and giving.