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waterSmart Honors Cobb County Students in 9th Annual Allatoona Ally Artist Challenge

MARIETTA, Ga. (March 12, 2014) – Today, Duffey Communications’ long-time client, The Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA,) in partnership with the Cobb County Water System honored 12 Cobb County elementary school students chosen as this year’s winners of the Ninth Annual Allatoona Ally Artist Challenge.

The award-winning Artist Challenge invites local fourth and fifth grade students to draw Ally — the scaly, but lovable ambassador for Lake Allatoona — conserving water in her home and community. More than 725 entries were received with 27 schools participating.

The top drawings are featured in a coloring book distributed throughout the community and available for free download at In addition, an autograph party was held to honor the artists and the winners were sworn in as Junior Water Deputies.

This year’s winners are:

Georgina Akoto, fifth-grade, Clay Elementary
Abigail Argo, fifth-grade, King Springs Elementary
Joey Avena, fifth-grade, Tritt Elementary
Ryan Bagley, fourth-grade, Frey Elementary
Soraya Carrero, fifth-grade, Birney Elementary
Aubrey Coleburn, fourth-grade, Addison Elementary
Paulette DeJarnette, fifth-grade, Big Shanty Intermediate
Nhi Diep, fifth-grade, Bryant Elementary
Allie Kantor, fifth-grade, Timber Ridge Elementary
Wanda Morales, fifth-grade, Green Acres Elementary
Michelle Namgoong, fifth-grade, Mountain View Elementary
Shveta Shah, fifth-grade, East Side Elementary

Michelle Namgoong, the cover page winner of this year’s contest, reminded residents to never use the toilet as a waste basket. Her drawing will be showcased on the front cover of the coloring book.

“We are continually impressed by the positive messages of water conservation shown by Cobb’s young artists,” says Becky Mixon, program director for waterSmart. “Teaching the tools of conservation at a young age can help build lifelong habits toward smart water use.”

A panel of judges – including Chris Holcomb, 11 Alive Weekend Meteorologist; Chris Purvis, Lake Allatoona Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger; Walter Reeves, Host of “The Lawn and Garden Show,” and Angela Seckington, Radio Disney Promotions Manager – carefully selected the winning illustrations.

“We are proud of the local students who show such dedication in protecting our water supply, and look forward to sharing this coloring book with the community,” says Kathy Nguyen, senior project manager at Cobb County Water System.

About waterSmart
The waterSmartSM program was initiated by the CCMWA in 2000 to educate their service area residents of all ages about the importance of indoor and outdoor water conservation and to help encourage sustainable, year-round conservation, regardless of climate conditions. The CCMWA is in its eleventh year of providing the waterSmart program to the community. For more information on water conservation and waterSmart, visit

About Duffey Communications
Founded in 1984, Duffey Communications has developed a long-standing reputation for unbridled creativity and a keen spirit of entrepreneurialism. Thirty years and more than 600 awards later, Duffey Communications has grown into one of the most respected public relations and public affairs firms in the Southeast. For more information, visit



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