Parade Committee Chairman Paul Beirnes and Parade Operations Committee Chairman Bryan Cole, both Florida Citrus Sports members, visited 8 year-old Alex Gyumishev at his elementary school on Wednesday to reward his efforts in the second annual parade coloring contest. They were joined by Parade Director Amber Mundinger to announce his achievement on WLKW, the elementary school’s student-run morning announcement show.
Alex, a student at Lake Whitney Elementary, moved from Bulgaria in August and will experience his first holiday season in the United States. His first holiday experience will include an appearance in the Spherion Orlando Citrus Parade presented by Delta Air Lines, which will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29. As coloring contest winner, Alex received a plaque acknowleding his accomplishment and will have his artwork featured on the cover of the parade program, act as honorary grand marshal and ride in a vintage Model A Ford during the parade. Assistant Principal Delaine Bender, YMCA Executive Director of Elementary School Programs Greg Snow and Alex’s teacher Karen Stringer were also on-hand to witness the presentation.
The contest was made possible through the YMCA Extended Day Program in elementary schools located throughout Central Florida. Over 1500 local students within the extended day program participated in the parade coloring contest. After all entries were collected in late October, judges were invited to decide upon a winner. Coloring contest judges included Mary Frances Emmons (Orlando Sentinel), Cassy Turiczek and Chuck Dinkins (Downtown Arts District), Rachel Kingston (Orlando Performing Arts Center), Keith Mahan D.D.S. and Suzanne Akins.