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Watermill Express Names Winners of 11th Annual Writing Contest in Rio Grande Valley:

Fourth Grade Contest Winners from Fourteen Area Schools to be Awarded Laptops and Wireless Printers for Essays Focused on Health and Wellness

MCALLEN, Texas – Watermill Express, the nation’s largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company, announced today the 20 winners of its annual writing contest. With the financial support of H-E-B, the fourth grade winners will each receive one laptop accompanied by a wireless printer as prizes for their essay submissions. Both teachers and parents of the fourth grade students will also receive H-E-B gift cards.

Themed, “Healthy Habits,” this year’s writing contest prompted students to reflect on the importance of making healthy choices and how to carry those habits with them for years to come. More than 1,000 essays poured in from fourth grade students in the McAllen, Hidalgo and Valley View Independent School Districts (ISD), the districts selected for this year’s contest. Judges, including Watermill Express’ co-founder and CEO Lani Dolifka, read and reviewed hundreds of essays in order to choose the most original and thought-provoking of the bunch.

“Our entire team looks forward to this time of year,” said Dolifka. “The writing contest has evolved into a community event. It’s a great feeling to know that we’re opening up discussion about well-being in dozens of classrooms and hopefully around dinner tables too.”

Award winners were selected from a total of 14 elementary schools in the Rio Grande Valley. Families and school staff are invited to attend ceremonies held in their district where the students will be recognized for their achievements.

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2016 “Healthy Habits” Watermill Express/H-E-B essay contest:

  • Mariana Daniela Vallez – Castaneda Elementary
  • Nick Hernandez – Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr. Elementary
  • Michael Ryan Esquivel – Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr. Elementary
  • Ezra M. Cavazos – Garza Elementary
  • Darian Solis – Hendricks Elementary
  • Itzel Ramos – Hendricks Elementary
  • Joaquin Rocha – Hendricks Elementary
  • Britney Zamorano – Hidalgo Park Elementary
  • Belicia Vega – Jackson Elementary
  • Lilyan Rose Castaneda – Milam Elementary
  • Naomi Herrera – Navarro Elementary
  • Kenzi Ramirez – Perez Elementary
  • Alysandra Garcia – Rayburn Elementary
  • Caroline Rangel – Seguin Elementary
  • Victoria Perez – Valley View South Elementary
  • Karolina Gonzalez – Valley View South Elementary
  • Austin Ramirez – Valley View North Elementary
  • Genesis Limon – Valley View North Elementary
  • Madeline Castro – Wilbur Lucas Elementary
  • Luna Cuevas – Wilson Elementary

Exclusive to the Rio Grande Valley, the first Watermill Express writing contest was held in 2005 and has since awarded more than $77,000 in prizes and has logged more than 11,000 participating students. Its popularity among schools and families in the community has made it an annual event that many fourth graders hope to participate in.

“Each year, our fourth graders wait anxiously to hear the school districts selected for the annual writing contest,” said Mario Reyna, health and physical education coordinator at McAllen ISD. “This year’s theme inspired our students to talk about healthy habits and overall well-being with teachers, family and friends. We’re so thankful to be surrounded by community-oriented organizations like Watermill Express and H-E-B.”

Watermill Express has a growing presence in the Rio Grande Valley with more than 200 locations and strong involvement in community events such as the recent “Pico de Gallo Century Bike Ride” and the “Break a Sweat Zumba-thon”. A community staple, the brand also partners with local organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society and more.

Plus, beyond its writing contest and community involvement, but equally as important, Watermill Express holds a strong commitment to giving back. Each year, Watermill Express pledges funds and thousands of gallons of water back to communities in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.

Across the country, Watermill Express serves thousands of customers a day safe, clean, pure drinking water and ice. Customers supply their own clean containers and drive up to the Watermill Express station to purchase great-tasting water and ice at a fraction of the price they would pay at the store.


Watermill Express Announces Winners of the 2015 Watermill Express/H-E-B Essay Contest:

McALLEN, Texas – December 8th, 2015 – Watermill Express, the nation’s largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company, along with H-E-B, presented new laptop computers along with wireless printers to each of the 15 winners of this year’s annual essay contest.

This year’s entrants were 4th Grade students from the McAllen Independent School District. Over 1,200 essays were written and evaluated with 15 winners being selected. Winners were chosen based on original work submitted by the students on how creating healthy lifestyles one habit at a time can result in a healthy future. In addition to the students, the teachers of the winning students each received a $100 gift card and the winning schools received a Watermill Express health and fitness package.

“On behalf of McAllen ISD, I would like to express our appreciation to Watermill Express for their recent sponsorship of the 4th grade writing contest,” said McAllen Independent School District Coordinator for Health and Physical Education Mario Reyna. “In speaking to our principals and parents, they loved the integration of health and writing skills. More importantly, this project affords our students an opportunity to improve on the writing skills while at the same time value their place in our environment and the importance of practicing healthy habits.”

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2015 Watermill Express/H-E-B essay contest:

  • Li-Ana Ayala – Milam Elementary
  • Karen P. Corona – Jackson Elementary
  • Carolina Cuellar – Sam Houston Elementary
  • Arianna Facundo – Castaneda Elementary
  • Candyce Garcia- Milam Elementary
  • Itzel Garcia – Jackson Elementary
  • Giovanny Mancinas – Sam Houston Elementary
  • Elma N. Martinez – Alvarez Elementary
  • Melanie E. Martinez – Jackson Elementary
  • Kevin M. Perez- Jackson Elementary
  • Avah G. Pompa – Milam Elementary
  • Marisol Pruneda – Escandon Elementary
  • Jackson Ramirez- Perez Elementary
  • Trinity Rosas – Ben Milam Elementary
  • Andrew Trevino – Milam Elementary