Top Ten Finalists in Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest

Top Ten Finalists in Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest

Ten Finalists of Nationwide Essay Contest Submit the Best out of Hundreds of Heartfelt Raggedy Stories
Grand Prize Winner to be announced in September

Arcola, IL, June 29, 2005 - Just in time for July 4th, a red, white and blue holiday that shares the same celebratory colors of Raggedy Ann, the iconic doll who turns 90 this year, comes the announcement of ten finalists from Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest. As their prize, each of the finalists will receive a 2005 special edition Raggedy Ann doll for making it to the final ten, however, still to be determined from these ten finalists is the Grand Prize winner who will be named in Raggedy's actual birthday month of September. This Grand Prize winner 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.

Raggedy's 90th Birthday Essay Contest commenced this past Valentine's Day when a call went out to the famous doll's fans asking them to submit their most "heartfelt" Raggedy stories in a nationwide essay writing contest. Since February, hundreds of essays were submitted. The top ten were received from the following participants:

Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest Finalists (in alphabetical order):

Deborah Brown

Robert M. Bruker

Michele Carter

Susan Hendrix

Rebecca L. Lagud

Lisa Ann Licameli

Laurie W. McGill

Veneese Nelson

Marcella Kay Payson

Diana Lynn Davis West

Port Orange, Florida

Godfrey, Illinois

Bass Harbor, Maine

Walker, Missouri

Parkville, Missouri

Maryland Heights, Missouri

Garland, Texas

Highland, Utah

North Arden Hills, Minnesota

Rome, Georgia

"Over the years, my family has heard countless stories from fans describing the joy and companionship that Raggedy Ann and her brother Andy have brought to them," says Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, granddaughter of Johnny B. Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann. "It came as no surprise to receive so many hundreds of essays from participants across the nation. Each and every Raggedy devotee has something touching and heartfelt to say about our 90 year old Birthday girl, and my entire family would like to thank everyone for taking the time to write us with their stories. We'd also like to congratulate the ten finalists and wish them luck as we get close to announcing the Grand Prize winner of Raggedy Ann's 90th Birthday Essay Contest this September."

To learn more about Raggedy's 90th Birthday Essay Contest, log on to or Full contest rules and regulations are available on both sites.

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