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And the Winner of the Celebrate! West Hartford T-Shirt Design Contest Is …

Taj Newman (right), a sophomore at Conard High School, holds up the Celebrate! West Hartford 5K shirt with his winning design. A.J. Shoham presented him with a $250 gift certificate in front of a mural at the Elmwood store on Wednesday afternoon. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

A Conard High School sophomore created the winning design for the 2018 Celebrate! West Hartford Road Race shirt.

By Ronni Newton

Taj Newman hasn’t lived in West Hartford for very long, but already he is making his permanent mark on the community.

The first 600 who signed up for this year’s Celebrate! West Hartford 5K will be given a teal shirt with a logo that Newman designed.

Newman, a sophomore at Conard High School who moved here before the start of the current school year, entered the design contest for the Celebrate! West Hartford Road Race shirt through his graphics class – and his creation was chosen.

“Cool” is how Newman described the fact that so many people will soon be walking or running around wearing his design.

He said he came up with his concept while brainstorming with other students in the class, and said he decided it was important to have both a “5K” image as well as a runner incorporated into the design. There are also elements from Celebrate’s logo.

As a prize for his design, Newman was given a $250 gift certificate to Jerry’s Artarama, presented by Manager A.J. Shoham on Wednesday afternoon. He said that he planned to share the gift with his mother , Vernica Blyth, who was thrilled and said she has lots of framing to do for art that she still needs to hang in the home the family recently moved to in West Hartford.

This is the third time that the Celebrate! West Hartford Road Race Committee held a contest for the design of the shirt, and graphic design students from both Conard and Hall were invited to participate.

According to Celebrate! West Hartford Event Coordinator Linda Geisler, the t-shirt design contest is a way to combine two major components of the festival – the arts and crafts as well as the run.

Newman plays football for Conard but isn’t a runner, and although he received a shirt he said he won’t be racing on Sunday.

The 30th Annual Celebrate! West Hartford 5K and the Kids Fun Run will be held on Sunday morning. Click here for more details and for information about registration and packet pick-up.

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