La Grande Middle School students, from left, Harmony Daniels, Andrew Peasley and Tess Cahill display the award-winning art work they created for a state gambling addiction prevention program. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
The year 2014 is almost seven months away, but La Grande Middle School students Harmony Daniels and Tess Cahill already know they will be leaving their artistic stamp upon it.
Art work with anti-gambling messages created by the two students has been selected for a 2014 calendar, which will be published by the Addictions and Mental Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority. Harmony’s submission will be on the cover of the calendar and Tess’s will appear with a month to be announced later.
Harmony and Tess are among four students who placed in the Union County division of the Addictions and Mental Health Division category of the anti-gambling art contest. Andrew Peasley also of LMS placed third and received statewide honorable mention recognition. Samira Thompson, a Union School District student, placed fourth in the Union County competition. The competition was for students in grades 6-8.
LMS Principal Kyle McKinney was delighted to see his school’s students do so well in the contest.
“It is cool to see our kids excel,’’ McKinney said.
The principal said he has high regard for Andrew, Tess and Harmony.
“They are great kids,’’ McKinney said.
The Addictions and Mental Health Division’s calendar is put out annually to heighten awareness of problem gambling.
“Nationally, the magnitude of the problem is not well known, especially among youth,’’ said DeAnne Mansveld, prevention programs coordinator for the Center for Human Development.
Mansveld said problem gambling is one of the fastest growing addictive behaviors in the United States and that the problem is serious among youths. She said that currently in Oregon one in every 25 teenagers is a problem gambler. One in 10 teens is an at-risk gambler, meaning he or she may be moving toward a gambling problem.