Cheney Free Press -


Salnave fifth-grader wins Bloomsday poster design contest

Work to be used to promote Fit for Bloomsday-Fit for Life children's training program in area schools


John McCallum

Bloomsday founder and former Olympic distance runner Don Kardong holds up Salnave Elementary student Meaghan Estock's contest winning poster to be used to promote the Fit for Bloomsday-Fit for Life 2014 training program.

Bloomsday founder Don Kardong stood in the Salnave Elementary School commons surrounded on three sides by enraptured students. While a few might have been focused on the former Olympic distance runner and National Distance Running Hall of Fame member, most of their gazes were glued to what he held in his hands.

Kardong was holding up a poster he told students and teachers at last Thursday's assembly was "magnetic" and would be attracted to the person who drew it. As he slowly turned counterclockwise, showing the poster for the 2014 Fit For Bloomsday-Fit for Life running program, students strained to get a closer view until about two-thirds of his way around the group, a small voice spoke up.

"I drew that," fifth-grader Meaghan Estock said and slowly picked her way through the throng to claim her rewards for becoming the first Salnave student to win the annual poster contest.

According to the Lilac Bloomsday Association website, over 60 schools and 6,000 students participate each year in the annual training program for school age children in the Spokane area. The association assists school personnel and volunteers with information, materials, structure and incentives for the 8-10 week program to get children prepared to run or walk Bloomsday. It's a program Salnave Elementary principal Dr. Debbie Maurus said the school has been taking part in for 16 years.

And they're not the only ones. According to the association's website, Betz and Windsor elementary schools in the Cheney School District participate as do Hallett and Michael Anderson in Medical Lake.

The poster contest is open each year to kindergarten through fifth-grade students to design the following year's program poster. Estock submitted her work last year, following contest rules to use "bright colors - colored marking pens preferred over crayons - with clear print and design elements."

The picture should be of the artist participating in some exercise or training activity with others, friends or family, and must have the words "Fit For Bloomsday" or "Bloomsday" included in the design along with the artists initials. Kardong said in an interview following the assembly that a committee chose Estock's design - she and her family out running - out of a field of approximately 200 entries.

"It's colorful, so we knew it would look good," he said. "We liked the family; it was something we hadn't seen before."

For her work, Estock took home a number of Bloomsday items, but received the biggest response from the students ("Whoa!!") when told her winnings included a check for $100. As the 2014 Fit for Bloomsday poster, Estock's work will promote the program by being displayed in area schools.

Estock said after the assembly that the family runs together a lot, with her parents pushing a stroller carrying siblings.

"I decided to do something like that," she said of the poster contest.

The fifth-grader said she hasn't run in Bloomsday, but did do the Cherry Picker's Trot last year in Green Bluff. While not sure about this year's Bloomsday, Estock did say she and the family run a lot.

"When it gets warmer," she added.

John McCallum can be reached at


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