One by one, some of Chautauqua County's youngest artists collected ribbons and some cash as part of the 12th annual Alcohol Awareness Month poster contest.
Organized by the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council, the contest, dubbed this year as "Too Smart to Start," is open to students in grades 3-12 throughout the county.
Grand-prize winner this year was senior Alexis Stanley of Panama Central School.
"This is a great program and I hope it keeps going," said Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace, who helped distribute awards.
According to Billie Jean Hubert, CASAC associate executive director, April has been recognized as Alcohol Awareness Month since 1987. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has been increasing public awareness and reducing the stigma associated with alcoholism that prevents families from seeking help, she said.
Of the 252 posters submitted this year, some of the best presented Tuesday will make their way to Albany and hang in the hallway outside of state Assemblyman Andy Goodell's office.
First-place winners were: Ryan Malarkey, fourth grade, Fletcher Elementary School; Emily Johnson, sixth grade, Falconer Central School; and Kaitlyn Deering, 10th grade, Cassadaga Valley Central School.
Second-place winners were: Mika Walters, fifth grade, Southwestern Central School; Michael Quigley, seventh grade, Washington Middle School; and Rachael Kosinski, 12th grade, Panama Central School.
Third-place winners were: Sydney Aldrich, seventh grade, Fredonia Central School; Cameron Nocero, third grade, Lincoln Elementary School; and Brittany Johnston, 11th grade, Cassadaga Valley Central School.
Receiving honorable mentions were: Sarah Marruci, seventh grade, Jefferson Middle School; Jenelle Grigelevich, fifth grade, Brocton Central School; and Maya Sischo, 12th grade, Cassadaga Valley Central School.