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.