EASTON — A St. Michaels teen won first place in a poster contest to promote awareness of the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services’ program, Talbot County Citizen Alerts.

Dylan Bowman of St. Michaels Middle High School won first place for his design. Zoey Bender of SMMHS won second place, Robert Graham of Easton High School won third place, and honorable mention went to Brennen Cohee of SMMHS.

Talbot County Citizen Alerts is a free service provided by TCDES that is able to send messages to Talbot County residents regarding emergencies, road closures, severe weather, evacuations and other pertinent information.

The contest was made possible by Marsh Weingarden of Easton and Constance Del Nero, director of children’s education and community programs at the Academy Art Museum of Easton.

“The safety of Talbot County citizens is the top priority of TCDES, and our ability to provide safety and create a culture of resilience amongst our citizens is only as efficient as the information we are able to communicate,” said TCDES Emergency Management Coordinator Geneva Harrison in a press release.

Weingarden understood this concept when he was with friends one afternoon and was the only one at the table receiving a message about impending weather in their area.

“Weingarden, being such a community-oriented resident, had the brilliant idea of using local students to help create a visual to push out information about Talbot County Citizen Alerts,” Harrison said. “He was also so generous enough to underwrite the prizes for the winning students and coordinated with Staples of Easton to donate the prints of the posters to be displayed across the county.”

“This is an excellent example of the strong community partnerships we have in Talbot County,” Talbot County Council President Corey Pack said. “This project was such a valuable experience for our students with a real-world design opportunity that directly benefits our residents.”

Del Nero and Weingarden partnered with Talbot County Public Schools and TCDES to create a contest that encouraged students to use their creativity to help communicate this message to Talbot County.

SMMHS art teacher Chris Pittman and EHS interactive media teacher Garnett Hines made the contest possible by making it available to their students who submitted “impressive, high-quality, and creative work,” Harrison said. “The students have truly embodied the purpose of the poster, the urgency of the information and the creative qualities to capture an audience.”

“We are grateful and inspired to see Mr. Marshall Weingarden’s vision become a reality through the creative artwork from the youth of our community,” said Clay Stamp, director of TCDES and assistant county manager. “This effort directly supports our ability to communicate time-sensitive emergency information to the public.”

Citizens can sign up for Talbot County Citizen Alerts at www.tal botalerts.com or www.talbotdes.org, and choose how they would like to receive messages (text, email, call), what types messages to receive and time to receive them (24/7, not during the evening, only during business hours, etc.). For more information, call 410-770-8160.

“TCDES would like to thank Marshall Weingarden, The Academy Art Museum, Mrs. Hines, Mr. Pittman, Staples, and the students for their support and participation in this contest and our countywide efforts in making Talbot County a safe and resilient community,” Harrison said.

For more information, contact Emergency Management Coordinator Geneva Harrison at 410-770-8166 or gharrison@talbotcountymd.gov.

Follow me on Twitter @connie_stardem.

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