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One Sharp teenager

Signature contest pays for Greemcastle student

Signature contest pays for Greemcastle student

March 09, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A Greencastle-Antrim Middle School student who was searching for his way to "give back" to the community has won $5,000 in supplies for his school.

"I don't play sports and I am not good at math, but I wanted a way to help my school," Charlie Herrick said.

Charlie, 13, won $5,000 worth of writing utensils from Sharpie by collecting 2,917 autographs from people he encountered across the region.

Sharpie hosts the annual contest, which Charlie said he learned about from his mother, Terry.

"We were in Staples and I saw the tear pad for the contest," Terry Herrick said. "The paper had information on how to find the contest online."

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Terry Herrick said anyone can enter the contest by going to the Sharpie Web site.

Charlie started collecting his signatures last year by asking people everywhere he went to sign for the contest.

"He met with a lot of opposition, and some people were downright nasty to him," Terry Herrick said.

Despite the number of people who refused to sign, Charlie still found ways to get signatures.

"If someone said no, I would find a group nearby and ask them to sign," he said. "Sometimes it would make the person say OK and sign."

While Charlie collected most of the signatures himself by going to re-enactments, auctions and stores, he said he was able to find help from friends and strangers.

"We went to Pizza Hut, and the manager asked for a stack of sheets to get signatures from all the customers," he said. "My friends would take sheets, too."

Greencastle-Antrim Middle School Principal Robert Crider said the school allowed Charlie to circulate a signature sheet in all of the middle school and high school homerooms.

Collecting the signatures was a challenge for Charlie, but he said he is up for it again this year.

"I don't know how many I have," he said. "I don't want to collect more or less than last time, just do my best and win."

Sharpie notified Charlie of his win in February, but Crider said the school has yet to receive the prize or determine exactly how it will use the supplies.

"I honestly am not positive what we will get," Crider said.

Regardless of what Sharpie sends, Crider said the prize will have a significant effect on the school.

"We will not need to spend $5,000 of our budget on similar materials, but can use the money for other supplies," he said.

Crider said he plans to distribute the supplies between the middle school and Greencastle-Antrim High School for use in classrooms.

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