Corpus Christi “Healthy Habits” Essay Contest ceremony highlights

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This is a fun little highlight video with interviews and photos from the Corpus Christi “Healthy Habits” Essay Contest ceremony. Thanks again to all those who made the event such a success.

Watermill Express Names Winners of Annual “Healthy Habits” Writing Contest in Laredo

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Watermill Express Names Winners of Annual “Healthy Habits” Writing Contest in Laredo


Fourth Grade Contest Winners from Laredo Independent School District Awarded Computers for Essays Focused on Health and Wellness.

Dec 13, 2018 – Laredo, TX – Watermill Express announced the winners of its annual writing contest during ceremonies held at D.D. Hachar Elementary School in Laredo, TX. Ten fourth grade winners each received a laptop and printer as prizes for their essay submissions.

This year’s ‘Superhero’ theme challenged children to create a superhero to protect their minds, bodies, and the environment from unhealthy activity by encouraging education, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and protecting the environment. Hundreds of essays were submitted and read by a panel of judges, including Lani Dolifka, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Watermill Express.

“This is one of my favorite activities of the year and it was an honor attending this year’s ceremony in Laredo,” said Dolifka. “The children were amazing, and it was great meeting the teachers and parents. They are the true superheroes.”

Winners were selected from a district wide writing initiative sponsored by Watermill Express for all participating elementary schools from Laredo Independent School District.

The 2018 Laredo “Healthy Habits” writing contest winners are listed below:

Adriana
D.D. Hachar Elementary
“Fitness Flash”
America
D.D. Hachar Elementary
“Conscience Creator”
Dathan
Farias Elementary
Father
Gianluca
Daiches Elementary
“Mega H2O”
Jasmine
J.A. Kawas Elementary
“Jazzy Flash”
Karen
Don Jose Gallego Elementary
“Creative Carrot”
Kaylie
Santa Maria Elementary
“Milly Express”
Mia
C.M. Macdonell Elementary
“Super Green Gal”
Nataly
H. Ligarde Elementary
“Environmental Girl”
Sofia
C.L. Milton Elementary
“Mindy the Healthy Hero”

“Laredo ISD is extremely grateful for the opportunity that Watermill Express gave to our district in order to showcase our student writing”, said Jessica Orduna-Paredes, ELAR Dean for Laredo ISD. “This writing challenge allowed our students to use their creative thinking to tackle global issues of conservation and living a healthy life every day. Watermill Express’s generous prizes served as a perfect incentive for our students to continue their inquiry and research to become well-rounded global citizens. Thank you, Watermill Express!”

The first Watermill Express writing contest was held in 2005 in the Rio Grande Valley and has since awarded more than $90,000 in prizes and has logged more than 18,000 participating students.

Watermill Express Names Winners of Annual “Healthy Habits” Writing Contest in Corpus Christi

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Watermill Express Names Winners of Annual “Healthy Habits” Writing Contest in Corpus Christi


Fourth Grade Contest Winners from Corpus Christi Independent School District Awarded Computers for Essays Focused on Health and Wellness.

Nov 30, 2018 – Corpus Christi, TX – Watermill Express announced the winners of its annual writing contest during ceremonies held at Windsor Park Athena Elementary in Corpus Christi, TX. Ten fourth grade winners each received a laptop and printer as prizes for their essay submissions.

This year’s ‘Superhero’ theme challenged children to create a superhero to protect their minds, bodies, and the environment from unhealthy activity by encouraging education, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and protecting the environment. Hundreds of essays were submitted and read by a panel of judges, including Lani Dolifka, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Watermill Express.

“This is one of my favorite activities of the year because I won a similar contest when I was in fourth grade and it made a difference in my life,” said Dolifka. “Our writing contest has evolved into a community event and it’s great to see so many kids use this opportunity to learn, have fun, and be recognized for their hard work.”

Winners were selected from a district wide writing initiative sponsored by Watermill Express for all participating elementary schools from Corpus Christi Independent School District.

The 2018 Corpus Christi “Healthy Habits” writing contest winners are listed below:

Abbigail
Montclair Elementary
“Jude Ozone”
Amada
Windsor Park Elementary
“Marlia”
Anna
Windsor Park Elementary
“Captain Health”
Anshoul
Windsor Park Elementary
“Nature Man”
Arianna
Montclair Elementary
“Lucy Pollution”
Avery
Windsor Park Elementary
“Geogirl/ ASA- Catherine”
David
Windsor Park Elementary
“Captain Mark”
Emma
Kolda Elementary
“Time Buster”
Emmanuel
Montclair Elementary
“Dental Boy & Toothpaste Girl”
Roslyn
Berlanga Elementary
“Mary – Queen of the Ocean”

“The Watermill Express Healthy Habits Essay Contest provided our students with a dual opportunity for learning about health and wellness, as well as creatively exploring different types of thematic writing”, said Dr. Cynthia Hernandez, Coordinator of Reading Instruction and Library Media Services at Corpus Christi ISD. “We are not only appreciative of this educational opportunity provided by Watermill Express, but also extremely grateful for the generous donation made to our Corpus Christi ISD students! This experience has truly made a positive difference in the lives of our students.”

The first Watermill Express writing contest was held in 2005 in the Rio Grande Valley and has since awarded more than $90,000 in prizes and has logged more than 18,000 participating students.

2018 Essay Contest:

Calling all 4th grade IDEA public school students, Corpus Christi I.S.D students, Laredo I.S.D students!

Texas – Put your writing skills to the test in the Watermill Express 2018 Superhero Essay Contest! Enter to win a brand-new Chrome laptop computer with printer. Your essay could also win your classroom a pizza party!

To enter, submit an original essay in which you create a superhero to protect our minds, bodies and the environment from unhealthy activities. This is your superhero – you create his or her powers! Your superhero can even be you, your mom/dad, a teacher, or anyone important in your life who can help bring about positive change. Don’t forget to name your superhero and be creative!

Let’s get those pencils on paper and put your thinking caps on!

As you begin writing, here are some guidelines and components of the essay that must be included:

  • 300-600 words
  • Written in English
  • How will your superhero protect our minds, bodies, and the environment from unhealthy activity?
  • How will your superhero encourage education, exercising, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and taking care of the environment?
  • How will your superhero reduce the world’s plastic water bottle waste? Do some research and give some facts.
  • What superpower will you give your superhero to make the world a better place to live?

Here are some helpful websites for your research:

This contest is exclusively for fourth-grade students from IDEA Public Schools in the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi Independent School District, and Laredo Independent School District. Each submitted essay must be conceived by the entrant and be the sole and original work of that entrant (a teacher, parent or legal guardian can explain the entry rules). Judging criteria includes, but is not limited to, content, grammar, punctuation and originality. Essay winners will receive one (1) Chrome laptop (approximately a $200 retail value) and one (1) printer (approximately a $60 retail value). Classroom pizza party will be awarded as a gift card in the amount of $50 for the primary classroom of winner. Contest prizes are gifts to winners from Watermill Express, LLC. No obligation applies. See www.watermillexpress.com for complete contest details

See past events

Watermill Express Names Winners of Third Annual Guppy Tank Contest; Makes $2,500 Donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley

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Seven Rio Grande Valley Students Present Business Ideas to Judges for Chance to Win Cash Prizes

MCALLEN, Texas – A winner has been crowned in this year’s Guppy Tank Contest, where students from the Rio Grande Valley present their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of expert judges.

Lola Tamez of McAllen, TX, was awarded the top honor for “Lola’s Pocket Sockets”, an innovative idea that combines a phone charger with a case accessory. Tamez was awarded a one-time cash prize of $500 for her winning presentation. Second place went to Branndon Perez for his concept, “The Dugout”, which earned him a one-time price of $250 cash. Gabriela Galindo came in third for “Break Away Eggs”. Luke Ramos came in fourth with “Stepping Stones Tutoring”. Colton Caldwell, Madison Shinsato, and Nathan Pitt sealed the fifth-place spot for “Solar Power Engine”. Third, fourth, and fifth place winners were awarded $50 each.

In addition to helping finalists fund their business ideas with cash prizes, Watermill Express donated $2500 to Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley. This donation will go toward granting a wish for a child in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Guppy Tank Contest is a fun take on the popular TV show “Shark Tank” and is meant to inspire area students 8 to 13 years old to think critically and creatively about business ownership. The panel of judges includes Lani Dolifka, President & CEO at Watermill Express; Chris Jacobs, News Anchor at KGBT 4; Ava Sandlin, Executive Director at Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley; and Patti Sunday, Marketing Consultant.

“We started Watermill Express out of our garage and know what it takes to build a business from nothing,” said Dolifka. “I am excited to support area youth by encouraging creativity and hard work through our Guppy Tank Contest.”

“Make-A-Wish is very grateful to Watermill Express and the wonderful work they continue to do for our deserving children in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Sandlin. “This is the third annual Guppy Tank competition benefitting Make-A-Wish RGV, but we have actually been fortunate enough to have been partners with Watermill Express for several years before the creation of this unique concept.  Through the efforts of our friends at Watermill Express, many wishes have come true for children in our community.”

A Valley institution for 30 years, Watermill Express has supported the community by donating thousands of gallons of water to organizations such as the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, South Texas Multiple Sclerosis Council and more.

About Watermill Express

Watermill Express is the largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company in the nation and the green alternative to prepackaged water.  Watermill Express customers reuse their own clean containers to reduce pollution from single-use plastic water bottles. Waterocks® Ice is now available at select locations. Call 1-800-487-9643 for more information.

From left to right: Chris Jacobs, Patti Sunday, Lani Dolifka, Ava Sandlin standing behind first-place winner Lola Tamez

From left to right: Gilbert Espinosa – District Manager at Watermill Express; Ava Sandlin – Executive Director at Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley; Miguel Martinez – Promotional Specialist at Watermill Express; Lani Dolifka – President/CEO of Watermill Express

Healthy Habits Writing Contest Highlighted by Donna ISD News

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Ten fourth graders from the Donna Independent School District were recognized during a special ceremony recently by Watermill Express and H-E-B.

The children competed in the annual Health Habits Writing Contest and received a laptop and a printer as prizes for their outstanding essay submissions. Their teachers and parents were also rewarded with $100 H-E-B gift cards.

Click here to read the full article on the Donna ISD News website.

Watermill Express & H-E-B Name Winners of 12th Annual “Health Habits” Writing Contest in Rio Grande Valley

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12th Annual Healthy Habits Contest
Fourth Grade Contest Winners from Twenty Six Area Schools 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 during ceremonies held at Sam Houston Elementary and Julian S Adame Elementary in the Rio Grande Valley. Fourth grade winners from Donna ISD and Weslaco ISD each received a laptop accompanied by a printer as prizes for their essay submissions. Both teachers and parents of the fourth grade students also received $100 H-E-B gift cards.

This year’s “Superhero” theme challenged children to create a superhero to protect their minds, bodies, and the environment from unhealthy activity by encouraging education, exercising, eating a healthy diet and taking care of the environment. Over 1,000 essays were submitted and read by a panel of judges including Lani Dolifka, Co-Founder, President/CEO of Watermill Express.

“This is one of my favorite activities of the year because I won a similar contest when I was in 4th grade and it made a difference in my life,” said Dolifka. “Our writing contest has evolved into a community event and it’s great to see so many kids use this opportunity to learn, have fun, and be recognized for their hard work.”

Award winners were selected from a total of 26 participating elementary schools from Donna and Weslaco Independent School Districts. School Superintendents, administrators, State representatives, H-E-B’s Border Region staff, students and families were in attendance at school ceremonies held in Donna and Weslaco, TX.

The 2017 “Healthy Habits” writing contest winners are listed below:

  • Camila Garza – A.M. Ochoa Elementary School
  • Celina Dominguez – Rudy Silva Elementary
  • Clyde de los Santos – C. Stainke Elementary School
  • Isabella Pedraza – C. Stainke Elementary School
  • JoAnna Juanita Martinez – C. Stainke Elementary School
  • Juan Alvarez – A.M. Ochoa Elementary School
  • Juan G. Dominguez – A.N. Rico Elementary
  • Kaeden Rivas – Dr. R.E. Margo Elementary
  • Larissa N. Rodriguez – Rudy Silva Elementary
  • Lauren de la Garza – J.S. Adame Elementary
  • Leah G. Diaz – C. Stainke Elementary School
  • Ludwika V. Gonzalez – F.D. Roosevelt Elementary
  • Maribel Quezada – Sam Houston Elementary
  • Mario Torres – Airport Drive Elementary
  • Marleen Montemayor – Airport Drive Elementary
  • Mia Avila – C. Stainke Elementary School
  • Nahomy Ibarra – Mario Ybarra Elementary
  • Naissa Ramirez – B.G. Guzman Elementary
  • Norma J. Espericueta – A.M. Ochoa Elementary School
  • Sophia Fuentes – Cleckler-Heald Elementary

“We are beyond proud to be in partnership with Watermill Express”, said Linda Tovar,
H-E-B Senior Manager of Public Affairs Border Region. “Together H-E-B and Watermill Express have worked alongside with local communities to advocate for education, health and a safe environment. The Watermill Express/H-E-B Writing Contest is a prime example which brings a positive message to our children, engaging them in the importance of literacy and healthy habits!”

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.

“We are ecstatic that Watermill Express/H-E-B provided our students yet another opportunity to engage in authentic writing for real audiences”, said Dr. Priscilla
Canales, Superintendent of schools for Weslaco ISD. “The support and commitment of both to education and Weslaco ISD’s literacy initiative is greatly appreciated.”

About Watermill Express

Watermill Express is the largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company in the nation and the green alternative to prepackaged water. Watermill Express customers reuse their own clean containers to reduce pollution from single-use plastic water bottles. Waterocks® Ice is now available at select locations. Call 1-800-487-9643 for more information.

Q&A with the Voyage Houston Magazine

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Lani Dolifka.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I used to live near a designated Superfund site which is land that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and qualifies for EPA cleanup. The community’s groundwater contained 600 documented chemicals and we were told not to drink our tap water, leaving us to rely on alternative sources for our water like expensive plastic water bottles.

Because of these issues, my husband and I, with the help of our family and friends, developed a miniature water purification kiosk that took municipal water and produced high quality drinking water. The result was our first Watermill Express station that produced pure drinking water at an affordable price. That was a little over 30 years ago. Now, we’ve grown to have more than 1,300 locations across the country.

Read the full Q&A article here.

Watermill Express Featured in Forbes

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There’s no escaping the fact that there is a certain underlying degree of elitism in entrepreneurship.

After all, most entrepreneurs want to solve big problems, disrupt age-old processes, and as Steve Jobs put it, put a dent in the universe.

We tend to think globally and then try to apply our ideas locally. While this makes for a catchy slogan, it’s often easier said than done.

In fact, I’ve found that the opposite is often true. Organic ideas that solve a local problem often are the most impactful when applied at scale.

By thinking locally and then scaling globally, entrepreneurs can create a thriving business and still make a splash on the global stage.

No one I’ve met embodies this more than a Colorado-based entrepreneur Lani Dolifka. You might not have heard of her, but chances are you’ve come across her business.

Click here to read the full article on the Forbes website.

Watermill Express Names Finalists of Second Annual Guppy Tank Contest: Makes $2,500 Donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation

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Five Rio Grande Valley Students to Present Business Ideas to Judges for Chance to Win Cash Prizes

MCALLEN, Texas – May 22, 2017 – Watermill Express, the nation’s largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company, announced today the selection of five finalists for its second annual Guppy Tank Contest, which challenges Rio Grande Valley students to channel their inner entrepreneur. The five finalists will present their business ideas to a set of judges at McAllen’s Inter National Bank board room on Wednesday, May 31, where the winners will also be recognized and celebrated.

The Guppy Tank Contest is a fun take on the popular TV show Shark Tank and is meant to inspire area students 8 to 13 years old to think critically and creatively about business ownership. The panel of judges includes David Aguirre Jr., supervisor and partner at Stars Drive-in Restaurant Corporation; Eloy Cuevas, RGV marketing manager at Watermill Express; Lani Dolifka, president and CEO of Watermill Express; Linda Guerrero Deicla, general manager at KGBT-TV; and Ava Sandlin, ‎executive director of Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley.

Though entries will be evaluated on several criteria including originality, quality of content, creativity, presentation and grammar, no finalist will leave empty-handed. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $750 to help launch his or her original business idea. The runner-up will get $350 to use toward his or her business plan, with third-, fourth- and fifth-place finalists receiving $100 toward starting their business ideas. All five students will also receive ten reusable Watermill Express water bottles to share with family and friends.

“We started Watermill Express out of our garage and know what it takes to build a business from nothing,” said Lani Dolifka, CEO and co-founder of Watermill Express. “I am excited to support area youth by encouraging creativity and hard work through our Guppy Tank Contest.”

The 2017 Guppy Tank Contest finalists are listed below along side the titles of their ideas:

  • Gabriela L. Galindo (McAllen, TX) – PipArt
  • Patricia Williams (Mission, TX) – Authentic Diva
  • Catherine Emily Garza (Edinburg, TX) – Kitty’s Kitchen
  • Aron Gamboa (Harlingen, TX) – Finder Prez
  • Joaquin Galindo and Frankie Rodriguez (Harlingen, TX) – Helping Bots

In addition to helping finalists fund their business ideas with cash prizes, Watermill Express donated $5 for each contest entry submitted to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, resulting in a total donation of $2,500. This donation will go toward granting a wish for a child in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Our organization is very fortunate to be surrounded by such generosity,” said Ava Sandlin, ‎executive director of Make-A-Wish Foundation Rio Grande Valley. “It’s companies like Watermill Express that help us make a difference in the lives of terminally ill children and their families.”

A Valley institution for 30 years, Watermill Express has supported the community by donating thousands of gallons of water to organizations such as the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society, South Texas Multiple Sclerosis Council and more.

Watermill Express is also committed to giving back internationally. As part of the brand’s partnership with World Vision, the two organizations were able to provide more than 100 million gallons of clean drinking water to the developing world in 2016 and plan to do the same this year.

About Watermill Express

Watermill Express is the largest drive-up pure drinking water and ice company in the nation and the green alternative to prepackaged water. Watermill Express customers reuse their own clean containers to reduce pollution from single-use plastic water bottles. The brand’s Waterocks® Ice is now available at select locations. Call 1-800-487-9643 for more information or visit watermillexpress.com.

 

About Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 33,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. It has granted more than 285,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.

Congratulations to the 2017 Watermill Express Guppy Tank Contest Finalist

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Congratulations to finalists

Congratulations to the following young entrepreneurs for making it to the finals on Guppy Tank!  It’s now time to put your ideas into action and unleash your creativity. Get ready to enter the Tank – The Guppy Tank!

  1. Gabriela L. Galindo- PipArt [ McAllen, Tx]
  2. Patricia Williams- Authentic Diva[ Mission, Tx]
  3. Catherine Emily Garza- Kitty’s Kitchen [ Edinburg, Tx]
  4. Aron Gamboa- Finder Prez [ Harlingen, Tx]
  5. Joaquin Galindo and Frankie Rodriguez- Helping Bots [ Harlingen, Tx]

Guppy Tank Finalist Presentations

Wednesday May, 31st – From 1pm-4pm
Inter National Bank Board Room
1801 S 2nd St, McAllen, TX 78503