Students from 15 Jersey City public and Catholic elementary schools had just 20 minutes to decorate a Christmas tree with artwork in an annual contest Nov. 18 at the Liberty House restaurant.
The restaurant, located in Liberty State Park, held its "Second Annual Snowflake Award Contest for Tree Trimming."
Students and their teachers brought artwork and photos of their heroes to add to their trees. The event featured appearances by TV meteorologists James Gregorio and Chris Cimino, children's author Denise Dowling Mortensen, and Miss New Jersey Jessica Boyington, all of whom served as judges for the contest. Also present were radio personalities from Power 105.1.
All trimmed trees will be on display at Liberty House Restaurant from Nov. 18 through Jan. 8.Deck the trees
Several of the schools brought photos of their teachers and students to put on the trees.
"We are going to decorate and the decorations have to depict our school community," said teacher Stephanie Gylkis at P.S. 38 on Sterling Avenue. "So we have chosen everyday heroes, and we have taken pictures of our staff members and made an abundance of decorations."
St. Aedan's School teacher Teresita Chan said they were placing photos of students and teachers in action inside decorations made from recycled plastic bottles.
As the St. Dominic's Academy Glee Club greeted the children with Christmas carols, students talked about what they looked forward to about the holidays.
"Spending time with my family and having fun," said Natalie Torres of P.S. 38.
Andre Viola of St. Aedan's School said, "We gather around and talk about all our past lives and talk about the old family, the old times."
Grownups also shared their thoughts about Christmas. One was "Santa Claus," also known as Joseph DeGiulio (the father of Liberty House owner Jeanne Cretella).
"[I look forward to] spending it with my family at my house," he said, "because my wife passed away in June, 2004, and my kids said 'No, you can't have Christmas' and I said 'yes I can.' " I said we always had Christmas at the house, and I am still going to have it." The winners
The first, second, and third place winners in the competition were P.S. 27, Golden Door Charter School, and P.S. 38. 1st place received $200, 2nd - $150 and 3rd place -$100.
Each school received Snowflake Award donations for their art departments.