Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest!

Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest!


Grand Prize Winner of Nationwide Essay is Selected
from Hundreds of Submissions

Arcola, IL, September 7, 2005 - A star was born on September 7, 1915 when Raggedy Ann was awarded what can only be called a birth certificate and was officially patented by the United States Patent Office. Since then, the beloved rag doll has become one of the most popular characters of the 20th Century and a favorite among dolls of all-time, ultimately being voted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2002. Created by cartoonist, illustrator and storyteller Johnny Gruelle to comfort his ailing daughter Marcella, Raggedy Ann has been a constant playmate and companion to children across the globe. Today Raggedy Ann and her brother, Raggedy Andy, are timeless classic characters that continue to spread Johnny's values of generosity, compassion, and love to generations of girls and boys around the world.

As a tribute to Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday an essay contest was launched this past Valentine's Day asking fans of the doll to submit their most heartfelt stories about the famous redhead. Michelle Carter of Bass Harbor, Maine has been chosen as the grand prize winner out of hundreds of essays sent in from around the country. Ms. Carter will receive a Raggedy-themed prize that includes an all-expense-paid trip for two to the Annual Arcola Raggedy Ann & Andy Festival in Arcola, Illinois, which is also home of the official Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum. A link to the winning essay is posted below.

"What a great experience it was to judge these wonderful essays," says Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, granddaughter of Johnny B. Gruelle. "We loved them all but finally chose Michelle Carter's for the unselfish and loving message it conveyed - the same values as Raggedy Ann. This essay contest not only honored Raggedy Ann but also my grandfather who gave us a national treasure that will always be a part of American history and hearts. I'd like to thank Ms. Carter and all of the enthusiastic fans who participated in the contest and shared their Raggedy Ann memories with us."

"I know I am not alone when I say how special Raggedy Ann is to me and my family," says Michelle Carter, winner of Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest. "As a child, she taught me an important life lesson which I wanted to share in my story. I am so flattered that my essay won and am very excited to visit The Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum. I think my grandmother would be very pleased."

Ten finalists were selected back on July 4th and received a 2005 special edition Raggedy Ann doll as their prize.

To read the winning essay, to find out more about the finalists and Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest rules and regulations see the links below.


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