Board of Commissioners announces winners of Oakland County's 'I Voted!' sticker contest

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First place contest winners (front row, left to right) Penelope Blanchard and Charlisa Penzak posed with members of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners’ Women’s Suffrage Committee which includes (left to right) Angela Powell, Tom Kuhn, Marcia Gershenson and David T. Woodward.

Photo by John Meiu

On Nov. 20, the Board of Commissioners announced the winners of Oakland County’s “I Voted!” sticker contest. Winners Penelope Blanchard (9th grade) from Walled Lake Western High School and Charlisa Penzak (6th grade) from Birmingham Covington School will have their designs printed as ‘I Voted!’ stickers, which will be distributed to voters at precincts throughout the county in 2020. Both students received a $1,000 prize courtesy of Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union. More than 600 middle and high school students across Oakland County submitted entries.
The contest winners were chosen by Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Lisa Brown and Oakland Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson. Judging was based on creativity, artistic skill, execution and interpretation of the theme of “The 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage.”

The teachers who sponsored each of the winning entries also received $250 for their classrooms courtesy of Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union.

“The adoption of the 19th Amendment was the largest expansion of rights in America accomplished in a single day since the birth of our nation,” said Board Chairman David T. Woodward (D-Royal Oak). “This contest showcases this accomplishment, the talent of our students, and serves as a reminder of what is required to expand equality in America.”

“We are very excited to share the incredible artwork of these talented students with the voters of Oakland County,” said Board Vice Chairwoman Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township). “Each of the winning designs illustrates the profound impact the suffragettes had on the course of history and the generations that followed.”

“Cornerstone Community Financial is proud to contribute the two scholarships to the winners, as well as the awarded funds for the teachers, to this important project,” said Heidi Kassab, president and CEO of Cornerstone Community Financial. “Voting is a human right. And, it’s not just about women having a seat at the table, it’s about having opportunities to lead the table. Those opportunities happen when all women have a voice and a vote. At CCF, we are proud to advance the financial standing of females through employment, lending, banking and education.”

The contest, which was announced by the Board’s Celebration of Women’s Suffrage Committee in August, is part of a yearlong calendar of events and programming to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

Gershenson serves as chair of the committee, which also includes Commissioners Angela Powell (D-Pontiac) and Tom Kuhn (R-Troy).

“The entrants did a great job showcasing the historical significance of the suffragette movement and both winning designs portrayed the impact it has today,” said Brown. “There were so many fantastic applicants with great artistry. I hope many of them will enter my Oakland County Directory Cover Contest!”

“The artistry was amazing and the artists’ statements demonstrated a true understanding of this very important period in our nation’s history,” said Cook-Robinson. “It will be exciting to see the winning stickers on voters in the upcoming election cycle, bringing history to life.”

To learn more about the Women’s Suffrage Ad Hoc Committee or for a complete calendar of events, visit www.oakgov.com/VotesForWomen. For additional information about the Board of Commissioners, visit www.oakgov.com/boc or call 248-858-0100.

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