Buzz Worthy

A tale of 2 creative students

A strange dilemma was brewing about two week ago with the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.

Justin Garrison was nowhere to be found.

The winner of the fishing fest’s art contest seemed to have vanished without a trace. Waiting for him was an unclaimed plaque and a prize award of $100.

But then, out of the blue, an e-mail came in to festival headquarters early last week. Justin was indeed alive and well. He seemed excited about winning.

For the contest, he depicted a pelican wearing a large pair of white boots in honor of the festival theme of “White Boot Ready.”

His artwork has left an artistic fingerprint on the festival, which attracts more 20,000 people each year.

Justin’s pelican, chosen out of 50 entries from seven area schools, has been featured on the official festival poster and the special festival T-shirts. See his work and other contest entries at the Cortez Community Center.

He was honored Saturday during the festival’s opening ceremony.

There was a warning that the graphic design student, hard at work at school and an internship, would be hard to reach. And, they were right.

I had no luck contacting the mysterious artist for a quote, but that gives me time to mention another area student who could, like Justin, be honored for something great one day.

His name is Dorrien Waiters, a 15-year-old Palmetto resident. Waiters was one of 100 high school students chosen out of 5,000 nationwide to participate in this year’s Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey at Walt Disney World last weekend, according to mom Leslie Waiters. To be selected for the competitive program, students had to write an essay about big dreams they wanted to pursue.

Dorrien, a Manatee High School student, wrote about his ambitions to go into the medical field.

He had the opportunity to listen to keynote speaker singer/actress Mary J. Blige. She and a host of other celebrities shared their keys to success.

“I learned how to be myself and it was very inspirational,” Dorrien said.

If you’re encouraged by these two hopefuls, let me know.

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