A favorite fictional character starts with a story that inspires, comforts or relates to the reader's own experience. This is evident in the essays submitted for the American Girl Fashion Show Essay Contest hosted by the Junior League of Manatee County and Bradenton Herald.
Girls up to age 12 were invited to write an essay answering either which American Girl character inspired her and why or how has American Girl Historical Characters stories' inspired her to give back to her community. The girls frequently wrote about the characters that went through similar hardships to their own or had a relatable goal. The first-place essay winner received the newest Historical Character Doll Grace, and the first and second place essay winners received tickets to the American Girl Fashion Show.
In the spirit of the upcoming fashion show fundraiser, girls ages 5-7 were invited to color a doll template with a fashion limited only by their imagination, for a chance to win an American Girl Bitty Baby Doll and two tickets to the fashion show. The second place coloring contest winner also received two tickets.
Coloring contest winners
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First place: Anna Radojcsics, age 6, a kindergarten student at Anna Maria Elemnetar
Second place: Lawrencia Kreger, age 6, kindergarten student at St. Stephens Episcopal School
Essay contest winners
First place: Hailey Lingle, age 9, third-grade student at Williams Elementary School
My favorite American Girl is Grace.
She is my favorite because she never gives up even when the going gets tough. Her story is inspiring to me because she goes for what she wants. When she goes to Paris she meets a new friend and goes on Master Chef. She really wants to win and pushes so hard, and she wins! She also opens her own bakery which is an inspiration to
me because I want to open my own fashion store some day. I want to go to college and be a fashion designer, and Grace inspires me to never give up on my dream and to work really hard to make my dream come true. Also, she has a really good sense of Paris style.
Second place: Savannah Nolan, age 10, fourth-grade student at Orange Ridge Bullock Elementary School
Julie has inspired me.
When my parents got divorced that broke my heart that they were separating, but since Julie stayed strong I decided to stay strong. Julie is like a sister to me because I like basketball and she loves basketball. At first I was scared to tell anyone that I like to play basketball. But Julie wasn't scared to tell anyone about her love to play. So I told my friends that I like to play basketball and my friends played basketball with the boys! If I could choose an American Girl doll I would choose Julie because she has inspired me to stay strong!
I love the doll Julie!
If you go
The American Girl Fashion Shows are 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. March 5 at The Neptune Room at the Seafood Shack, 4110 127th St. W., Cortez. Doors open one hour before each show. Tickets: $40 general seating, $45 VIP seating. Information: eventbrite.com/o/junior-league-of-manatee-county-6912683417.