The first-place winner in each category will get to have their photo taken with Maja, though she is larger now than she was in this photo taken in January when she first arrived at the Ponoka RCMP detachment. File photo

UPDATE: Poster contest extended

Kids have one more week to get their entries in

UPDATE: The Ponoka RCMP detachment’s poster contest has been extended for one week. The deadline for entries is now June 10.

ORIGINAL STORY

Creative kids in Ponoka have a chance to win a prize and have their photo taken with the Ponoka RCMP detachment’s five-month-old puppy-in-training, Maja, by taking out their crayons, paints or markers.

READ MORE: Ponoka RCMP has a new pup to train

Ponoka RCMP detachment’s new member Const. Alicia O’Neill is organizing a poster contest for children in the town and county of Ponoka, challenging them to create an artwork that promotes the health and safety of frontline workers such as RCMP, medical personnel, EMS and fire services.

The contest is open to children aged five to 12 and starts on May 13 and will run until June 3.

Entries can be “drawn, painted, coloured or crafted,” says O’Neill, who arrived in Ponoka in March.

Entries around this theme can be created with any medium and there are no other guidelines other than to portray frontline workers safely conducting their duties.

New constables are required to do a community outreach project when they receive their first posting, and O’Neill came up with the poster contest as a way to engage children in an activity during a time when they’ve been cooped up at home.

There are three age categories: five to seven, eight to 10 and 11 to 12. A first, second and third place winner will be chosen in each category.

All winners will receive a prize and the first-place winner will have their photo taken with Maja.

“We all play a role in keeping the community safe, no matter the age,” said O’Neill.

It’s preferred that a photo of the entry be sent via email, but those without access to the Internet may also drop off their posters to the Ponoka RCMP detachment.

Entries can be sent to alicia.oneill@rcmp-grc.gc.ca and should include the child’s name, age, and the name of a parent or guardian the RCMP can contact.

Please keep your paper copies of posters, though, as the RCMP would like to take a photo of the children with their entry and Maja after judging is complete.

The winners will be chosen by officers and staff members of the detachment.

O’Neill will be soliciting donations for prizes from community agencies during the weeks the contest is running. She hopes to receive items such as a bike, scooter, or swimming lessons to be used when the pool is able to re-open and smaller prizes like coupons for free slurpees or gift cards.

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