BERLIN – A local student was recently recognized for winning a regional design contest.
On Jan. 18, representatives with the Delmarva Shorebirds visited Berlin Intermediate School to recognize sixth-grade student Loralei Donoway as the winner of this year’s “Hit The Books” bookmark contest. Donoway’s design was selected from tens of thousands of submissions across 100-plus schools on the Delmarva Peninsula.
“I’m excited,” she said in an interview this week. “I didn’t think I was going to win.”
Each year, the Delmarva Shorebirds partner with local schools for its “Hit The Books” program as a way to encourage children to read outside the classroom. The annual event kicks off with a bookmark design contest, with the winning design being distributed to schools across the region each January.
Last fall, Donoway’s art class, led by art teacher Sarah Purdue, entered into the Shorebirds’ bookmark contest. Donoway said her design depicted the team’s mascot, Sherman, learning how to play baseball by reading a book. The picture is accompanied with the phrase, “Home Run Reader.”
“My teacher had heard about the contest and decided to do it,” she recalled. “We didn’t have much time. So I ended up finishing it at home and turning it in.”
Unbeknownst to Donoway, her bookmark was ultimately chosen as the winning design. In a pep rally held Jan. 18. Donoway’s parents and siblings, as well as representatives from Worcester County Public Schools and the Delmarva Shorebirds, were on hand to surprise her with the accolade.
“I thought it would be a normal day …,” she said. “We ended up having a pep rally for the winner, and everyone around me kept saying it was someone else. But as soon as I heard the ‘L’ come out of their mouth, I knew it was me.”
Donoway’s mother, Tammy Donoway, said she had learned of her daughter’s winning design in December. She said she, her husband and their two other daughters hid in the locker room until the name was announced.
“We had to keep it a secret,” she said.
As the winner of this year’s design contest, printed copies of Donoway’s bookmark will be distributed to schools across the Eastern Shore. Donoway will also get to throw the first pitch at Berlin Intermediate’s “Hit The Books” night at the Delmarva Shorebirds.
“The bookmarks will be used as inspiration for the next drawing contest,” Donoway added. “And it will be attached to the Shorebirds schedule.”