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Somers Student Wins Litter Sign Contest

SOMERS, N.Y. – Have you noticed a new sign around Somers – the town mascot elephant, charging residents not to litter the streets and parks of Somers?

The idea of an official sign was proposed by the Somers Litter Task Force, founded last year by Linda Simpson and Suzy Moravick, two residents who were distressed by the growing accumulation of litter around town and organized an effort to combat it.

A seemingly insignificant but important tool to keep the town clean is simply to remind people, they realized. So a contest to design an anti-littering sign was held among Somers High School students. The judges were Moravick, Simpson and Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy and the winner was Anna Gemo, 17, a senior in Christina Brooks’ graphic design class.

Gemo was officially congratulated at last week's Somers Town Board meeting, and received a cash award from the local business enterprise, Somers Sanitation.

“I thought they were kidding when they said I’d won,” said Gemo. “It was a month and a half later when I heard they liked my design. Then I had to re-work it to meet certain specifications.

“So it kept going back and forth between me and them and along the way it changed. The elephant got smaller and the border started out as triangles but then switched to half-circles, because it was more circus-like. The color changed a little and the font changed and it ended up looking more like a circus poster.”

Gemo designed her sign on the computer using Adobe Illustrator. “It was a lot of fun,” she said. “One thing I learned is that you have to work on it every day. You can’t procrastinate or lollydolly. The faster you get it down, the lesser the chance that you’ll forget it. I tried to be as professional as I could.”

Gemo has just started her freshman year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she is studying textile and surface design. “I love everything I do,” she said. “It isn’t even like work.”

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