Nine Student Finalists Selected in Contest to Name Clare County’s Newest Park

May 25, 2012

Each student receives a $25 Jay’s gift card and will have their park name voted on at the annual ‘Friends’ fundraiser on June 2.  The student whose park name garners the most votes at that event receives an additional $100 Jay’s gift card.


Nine student finalists have been chosen in the “Friends of Clare County Parks & Recreation” contest to name the county’s newest park.  Each of the finalists now receives a $25 Jay’s Sporting Goods gift card and a certificate of achievement from ‘Friends,’ and will have their proposed park name voted on by attendees at “A Gateway Affair”, an annual ‘Friends’ fundraiser, benefiting Clare parks and recreation being held the evening of June 2 at Jay’s.  The student whose park name receives the most votes receives an additional $100 in Jay’s gift cards–$50 from ‘Friends’ and an additional $50, thanks to a generous matching donation from Jay’s.

The “Name Clare County’s Newest Park” contest was held earlier this spring and all Clare County students were eligible to participate.  All they needed to do was submit a name they felt was appropriate for the new 11-acre park located west of Farwell, along with a short essay explaining why Clare County Parks were important to them.  The nine finalists and their school are:


Grades: 1 – 3

  • Izabele Ellul                Farwell Elementary
  • Michele Hamilton        Farwell Elementary
  • Hannah VantHull        Farwell Elementary


Grades: 4-7

  • Edwin Wilkes             Clare Middle School
  • Gracia Agin                 Harrison Middle School
  • Max Hofweber            Clare Middle School

Grades: 8-12

  • Nichole Harcourt        Farwell High School
  • Merry McDaniel          Farwell High School
  • Amanda Bart               Farwell High School


“While we congratulate the nine finalists, we also want to thank all students who participated, along with the teachers and administrators at the three county school districts that supported this contest.  We received some wonderful heartfelt essays about our parks and it was a difficult process to narrow them down to,” said Gerald Schmiedicke, ‘Friends’ president.  He added that he thinks attendees at the upcoming “A Gateway Affair” may have a difficult time choosing from among the nine potential park names.  “The students came up with interesting names for the new park.  I think I speak for our group when I say I’m glad we’re not going to have to choose the finalist from among the nine being considered.”

Schmiedicke invites everyone to attend the ‘Gateway Affair,’ not only to vote on the park name, but to also enjoy the evening while supporting Clare County’s parks.  “All funds we raise go toward parks; and funding recreational opportunities within the county as well as issuing grants for recreational projects across the county.”  Schmiedicke explained that funding projects through Friends becomes more important as tax dollars that once supported county parks dry up.  “But we can only help as long as the community supports our mission.  That not only includes supporting fundraisers like “A Gateway Affair” but also by joining our organization and helping us year around.  As the essays we received reveal, our parks are important to our kids.  We all need to make sure they can continue to enjoy them,” he said.

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