Kerns takes first place honors in Poppy Poster contest

Wednesday, March 8, 2023
(Photo Contributed) Le Mars American Legion Auxiliary Post #241 Education Chair Cathy Popp, right, is pictured with Gehlen Catholic student Delaney Kerns when Kerns’ poster was selected as the winner in the local Poppy Poster Contest. Kerns poster went on win first place in the State of Iowa’s Annual American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Poster Contest.

LE MARS — A Gehlen Catholic School seventh grader won first place in the State of Iowa’s Annual American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Poster Contest.

Cathy Popp, Education Chair for the Le Mars American Legion Auxiliary #241, recently announced that Delainey Kerns, won the first honor, competing against over 400 other Iowa students in the state competition.

Kerns, the daughter of Jake and Melissa Kerns of Le Mars, created her poster in art class as part of a unit on good poster design. Her winning poster was one of 39 others submitted to the American Legion Auxiliary Post #241. She received first place honors both at the local level and in the District 9NW Regional contest before receiving her first place winning entry at the state competition.

Popp stated, “Poppies are delicate flowers’ of the red field poppy and have become recognized internationally as a symbol of remembrance and welfare for war veterans. Poppies are the official flower of the Legion family. By wearing poppies, we honor every United States (U.S.) service member who has given his or her life in the name of liberty, freedom and democracy. At the same time, we show our support for veterans of generations to come.”

Kerns used colored pencils as the medium to create her poster.

The poster features army boots with poppies in them, with the background of Stars and Stripes, and the words “America, Home of the Brave.”

“I chose to put poppies in the army boots instead of the usual gun to make my poppy poster unique. I also chose to add the stars and stripes in the background to represent the flag,” Kerns said.

While working on her poppy poster, Kern learned that her great-grandpa was a staff sergeant in the Army and fought in the Korean War.

“When I started I didn’t know if there were any veterans in my family,” she said.

“The Legion Auxiliary uses the Poppy Poster Contest to educate students, like Delaney, how to show respect for our servicemen and women, as well as our veterans in appreciation for their sacrifice to protect our country and make America safe,” Popp said.

Kern created the poster for the contest when she was a sixth grader, according to Gehlen Catholic Art Instructor Beth Schlichte. The poster then worked its way through the Legion Auxiliary contest timeline.

Schlichte offers a unit on good poster design early in the school year, which covers the following criteria: poster appeal (layout, message, and originality), artistic ability (design and color), and neatness, the same criteria used by the Legion Auxiliary in judging for the contest.

“The students take a lot of pride in creating their posters for this contest, and it shows in the end. We are very grateful to our service men and women who put their lives on the line to ensure our freedom,” Schlichte said.

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