'Litter isn't cool' but winning is

March 20, 1998


Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS - Lenny Belt said he has never been very good at winning contests.

But he took his entry in Maryland's anti-litter slogan contest seriously last year, submitting the phrase, "Don't be a fool, litter isn't cool."

"I just knew I wanted something that rhymed that sort of made sense," Lenny said.

The 12-year-old with a knack for writing and an interest in the environment was shocked when he was chosen one of 24 students from across the state to win a first-place prize in the contest.

"I never dreamed I'd win. I normally don't win contests," said Lenny, who recently moved from Hancock, where he was a sixth-grader at Hancock Middle-Senior High School, to Waynesboro, Pa.


Gov. Parris N. Glendening Thursday met with Lenny and the other winners in the State House to honor them for raising public awareness about the state's efforts to end littering along highways and other areas.

"It is our goal that this statewide initiative will help fulfill my vision of making Maryland the best place to raise a family and provide a beautiful legacy for our children," Glendening said.

More than 4,000 entries were submitted statewide from children between the ages of 5 and 14. Winners were selected based on their emphasis on the anti-litter message, along with creativity and originality.

A winner was selected from each county and Baltimore City, with a grand prize awarded to Clifton Cole of Charles County, who turned in the entry, "Don't be a litter critter."

As a winner, Lenny received a $100 savings bond and a $100 gift certificate to Toys-R-Us.

"He's a pretty smart kid, and he really cares about things like littering," said Lenny's mother, Brenda Cornett.

Lenny said he feels strongly about the environment.

"Think about it. If you pollute too much, the atmosphere will get messed up, the trees won't grow, and there won't be any chance to live," he said.

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