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Young local artist post another winner

June 14, 1998|By SHEILA HOTCHKIN

A Funkstown girl added to her already large collection of poster competition awards last week, taking second place for her entry in the National 1998 Savings Bond Poster Contest.

Jessica Gonder's mother, Dottie, estimated that her daughter has won at least two dozen awards, including five in national competitions.

A map of the United States made up the background of her winning illustration. A large eagle, carrying savings bonds, flew across the map to a nest made of leaves and more bonds. One chick is in the nest, surrounded by eggs bearing such labels as "retirement," "education," and "vacation."

Animals are a favorite subject for the E. Russell Hicks sixth-grader, who wants to be the top veterinarian at San Diego's zoo when she grows up. At home, she has 16 fish and a dynamo of a schipperke puppy, whose full name is Ocean City's Hurricane Ebony.

Her entry into last year's savings bond contest had pigs as a focal point. That entry also won her first place in the state, although it did not make it into the national contest.

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This year's victory won her a $2,000 savings bond and a trip to Washington, D.C., where the awards ceremony was held.

She and two other top finishers had lunch with U.S. Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow, and she had her picture with dignitaries.

"My eyes were blind by the time I was done," she said.

By the end of the day, Jessica had exchanged addresses with the contest's first- and third-place winners and had also rethought her career plans.

Said Dottie Gonder: "She said, 'Mom, I think I'm going to be treasurer of the United States instead of a vet."

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