A contest to come up with a mascot to help promote litter prevention in Wilkes County began Wednesday and continues through Oct. 18, announced Wilkes Solid Waste Director Anderia Byrd.

It’s part of an effort by the Wilkes County Litter Committee, which consists of local officials and volunteers from Clean Up Wilkes, a newly-formed group that picks up litter along local roads.

All elementary- and high school-age students in public, private or home schools are eligible to submit entries for the Wilkes County litter prevention mascot. Entries will be collected Oct. 19 and winners will be announced 7:30pm on Oct. 25 at the Carolina West Community Commons.

Any hand-drawn or colored mascot on any type of 8 ½-inch-by-11-inch paper may be used. No pictures of commercial origin are permitted. One entry per person is allowed.

Drawings must include the name of the young person who made the drawing on the back of the paper. It must include the person’s grade, school and homeroom teacher’s name if the entrant attends a public or private school or name of the home school if the entrant attends a home school.

Entries may be submitted to school offices, Wilkes County Public Library or Wilkes Family YMCA and will be judged based on visual effectiveness, originality and “Wilkes County appeal,” said Byrd.

Cash prizes will be awarded as follows: $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. Winners will also be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Carolina West Community Commons on Oct. 25, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Questions may be submitted to cleanupwilkes@gmail.com.

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