Girl says 'cheese' on macaroni box

April 16, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

see the enlargement

cheese!Girl says 'cheese' on macaroni box

Saying cheese for the camera comes easy for 5-year-old Beth Haniak.

As one of 60 finalists in the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "I Want The Blues" contest, Beth's face will appear on the back of the familiar blue boxes sold in grocery stores nationwide starting in June.

"This was kind of like a fairy tale for us," said Katrina Haniak, Beth's mother, who grew up in Hagerstown and graduated from South Hagerstown High School and Hagerstown Junior College.


Beth lives with her mother and father, Peter Haniak, in Warren, Mich.

The fairy tale wouldn't have come true without Beth's grandmother, Kathleen Carpenter of Williamsport, who read an advertisement about a contest in The Morning Herald last November while sitting in a Greencastle, Pa., barber shop waiting for her husband, Donnie.

The advertisement stated Kraft Foods was conducting a nationwide search for children to be pictured on the Kraft box in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

To enter, children age 12 and under had to send a photo of themselves, along with a creative story of 50 words or less, or a drawing or rhyme, that described why the product is their favorite.

Carpenter copied down the information and sent it to her daughter, Katrina.

"I just knew it. I just felt it was going to happen," Carpenter said.

It wasn't too hard for Beth to come up with a story. With help from her parents, she combined her love of macaroni and cheese with her fondness for tales about princesses into a winning essay called "My Favorite Pair."

In January, the family received a telephone call, followed by a letter telling them that Beth had been chosen as a finalist in the contest.

"It was a good feeling. We've never entered any contest," Katrina said.

Kraft received more than 10,000 entries for the contest. Twelve grand-prize winners won family vacations for four to Orlando, Fla., and their photographs will appear on the front of the macaroni and cheese boxes.

As a finalist, Beth's photo will appear on the back of the boxes. She also received a camera, three rolls of film and a personalized case. The Haniaks also will get a case - 48 boxes - of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese bearing Beth's picture.

Beth said she was happy she won the contest and that her friends at school think it's neat.

Beth has been featured in five Michigan newspapers and sat through an hour-long photo session for Kraft Foods.

Beth said the photographer made her say "cheese" before he took her picture.

"It's been really fun for her," Katrina said.

Beth's winning story

Following is the story Beth Haniak entered in the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese contest.

My Favorite Pair

Once upon a time, King Kraft Macaroni ruled the Pasta Kingdom. He married the Cheeseland's ruler, Princess Cheese, and created the Land of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Today, their secret pasta and cheese recipes give me the cheesiest yummies to make me wish for a zillion tummies.

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