Southland student wins Hormel holiday card contest

Published 6:27 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Southland High School ninth-grader Marisa Simon won a $500 art scholarship in the afternoon and still had time to shoot hoops later Monday evening.

Marisa, 15, won the third annual Home+Heart+Art Holiday Card contest for Hormel Foods Corp. Jeff Ettinger, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods and other Hormel Executives greeted Marisa Tuesday at Hormel’s corporate offices.

“It’s very exciting,” Marisa said.

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Marisa designed her card of snow covered evergreens against a red background using pastels. The top of the card reads “Season’s Greetings.”

Marisa also submitted to the contest last year. This year, she found inspiration for the card in a familiar place: “Our backyard has evergreen trees like this,” she said.

Ettinger congratulated Simon and presented her with a framed copy of her holiday card, and told her it’d be received by people around the world, even in the Philippines.

“For having the winning card, we will have her card circulate among over 30,000 people that we have contact with during the holiday season for Hormel Foods,” he said.

Marisa faced tough competition as more than 70 contestants applied, the largest in the contest’s three years. A panel of Hormel executives picked the winning greeting card. Picking one card is never easy, as one executive said after congratulating Marisa.

The contest was open to students between kindergarten and 12th-grade who are dependent children of active Hormel employees. Marisa is a ninth-grader at Southland High School. Her parents are Clair and Roger, who works in engineering at Hormel.

For winning, Simon received a $500 scholarship to go to an institute of her choice. Simon had not yet decided what to do with the money, but she said she planned on donating it to an area organization, possibly to her school.

After the presentation, Simon planned to play in a basketball game. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, volleyball and photography.