News Release For Immediate Release
March 22, 2004
Everett, WA – In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day. “In each of the past 15 years, family and friends of missing children have joined together to plan events in communities across America to raise public awareness about the issue of missing children and the need to address this national problem,” according to the Juvenile Justice Journal. This year is no exception.
An important annual event, which is sponsored by the DOJ/OJJDP (US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), is the National Missing Children’s Poster Contest. Students from across the country were invited to submit an original work of art depicting their own sensitivity to the issue of missing kids in honor of the upcoming day.
Missing children’s centers throughout the US invited the local schools in their states to encourage 5th and 6th grade students to enter the contest. Each center selected one local winner and then that poster was submitted into the national OJJDP contest.
In Washington State, OPERATION LOOKOUT® National Center for Missing Youth, the state’s only child-search organization, and a member of AMECO (Association of Missing and Exploited Children’s Organizations) notified a number of local schools of the event, which engendered several entries.
Andrew “Drew” Bishop, a sixth grade student at Voyager Middle School, in the Mukilteo School District, will be honored during a student-body assembly for winning the state-level poster entry, which was a vividly colored artistic portrayal of a family’s determination to find their missing child. Drew offered further interpretation of his poster, ” I drew this picture to convey two things: One — never give up! And two, miracles can happen…” That wise advice is something that Drew knows about first hand.
Upon notifying Drew’s Mother of his state-level winning entry, Operation Lookout learned that Drew has fought a life-long battle against Cystic Fibrosis. Though just beginning another episode with the illness at the start of the OJJPD competition, Drew was determined to complete his poster and enter the contest.
Of her son’s winning the local OJJDP contest, Lisa Kedziorski, said, “I was so excited and proud of him. Drew has always shown determination with everything he does, and always with a positive attitude.” The teachers at Drew’s school agree. They recently presented Drew with the ‘Most Contagious Positive Attitude’ of the month award.
Drew’s Mother continued, “He has such a kind, giving spirit. In spite of his sickness, including 83 hospitalizations, Drew is always looking out for everyone else, especially his four siblings. He is such a special, happy kid; he’s my fun guy around the house.Receiving this award a few days before his March 29th birthday is the best gift he could receive.”
Drew will be presented with a US Savings Bond, a Certificate of Merit, and a framed copy of his poster from Operation Lookout’s president, Michael Gibson. Drew’s original artwork was forwarded to the OJJDP as an entry in the national level competition.
Gibson stated, “We are proud of all the students who submitted entries, and congratulate Drew Bishop for the poignant message that he so clearly encapsulated in his picture.” Certificates of Recognition will be issued from the OJJDP to all students who participated in the 2004 contest.
Of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25, Gibson said, “It is an important time to remind all Americans not to forget about these children who all deserve a chance to be found.”
The presentation will take place on Friday, March 26 at 2:15 in the gymnasium of Voyager Middle School, 11711 4th Ave, W. Everett, WA. Media is requested to arrive at 2 PM.
Press interviews and photo ops with Drew Bishop, his mother and his teacher, Sarah Goodall, will be available immediately following the brief presentation. Michael Gibson will be available to provide information about missing children and National Missing Children’s Day.