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12 Cobb County Elementary Students Honored in 12th Annual Allatoona Ally & Friends Artist Challenge

February 2, 2017

The Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA) and Cobb County Water System congratulate the 12 Cobb County elementary school students selected as this year’s winners of the 12th Annual Allatoona Ally and Friends Artist Challenge. The winners were selected from 950 entries, encompassing 28 schools in Cobb County.

Cobb County fourth- and fifth-grade students were invited to create coloring book illustrations depicting Lake Allatoona’s own ambassador, Allatoona Ally, in her efforts to educate her friend, Tappy the Turtle, about water conservation.

The coloring book featuring the top 12 entries will be distributed throughout the community and available for free download at

An autograph party was held to honor the winning artists on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Cobb County Water’s Lab Training Room in Marietta, Ga. The artists were sworn in as new Junior Water Deputies.

The winners of the 2017 Allatoona Ally and Friends Artist Challenge include:

  • Sophie Landrum, fifth-grade, East Side Elementary
  • Sammie Lee, fifth-grade, Bullard Elementary
  • Zuri Ramirez, fifth-grade, Green Acres Elementary
  • Ryan Lacey, fifth-grade, Big Shanty Intermediate
  • Meryl Gilmore, fifth-grade, Davis Elementary
  • Kristen Hur, fifth-grade, Kemp Elementary
  • Havalyn Bryant, fifth-grade, Harmony Leland Elementary
  • Jackeline Lopez, fifth-grade, Due West Elementary
  • Cindy Nwagwu, fifth-grade, Varner Elementary
  • Stella Newton, fifth-grade, Frey Elementary
  • Kalin Tubbs, fifth-grade, Lewis Elementary
  • Tommy Hidalgo, fourth-grade, Clarkdale Elementary

The illustration by Sophie Landrum of East Side Elementary was selected as the cover art for the 12th Anniversary Edition of the “Adventures with Allatoona Ally & Friends” coloring book.

“Educating students and getting them involved with water conservation at an early age is crucial to the future of our water resources in Georgia,” says Becky Mixon, program director for waterSmart. “Now in the 12th year of the Allatoona Ally & Friends Artist Challenge, we are thrilled with the quality and creativity of the artwork that will inspire others to save water.”

A panel of judges – including Walter Reeves, Host of “The Lawn and Garden Show” and Brian Holtzinger, Lake Allatoona Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger – selected the winning illustrations.

“The future looks brighter when younger generations express such enthusiasm about helping to save water,” says Kathy Nguyen, senior project manager at Cobb County Water System. “We are very proud of all those who participated while spreading this important message.”

About waterSmart

The waterSmartSM program was initiated by 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. CCMWA is in its seventeenth year of providing the waterSmart program to the community. For more information on water conservation and waterSmart, visit

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