Residents win paper-sponsored contests

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 10, 2003

Two lucky adults and one artistically gifted young man walked out of the News-Herald office Friday with prizes they’d won in contests sponsored by the paper.

Margaret Smith, a member of the Pilot Club of Suffolk, renewed her subscription to the paper she’s taken most of her life. Her name was drawn from a drum filled with subscription requests.

In a coloring contest, 9-year-old Timothy Tyler O’Brien, a student at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School, won for his talents in coloring a page featuring a football player. O’Brien’s choice of colors and drawings of people in the stands behind the player won him a 13-inch color television. He colored the player in the colors of his favorite team.

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&uot;The Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite team,&uot; he said. &uot;Me and daddy watch the games. Daddy gets loud when they are winning; he goes, &uot;Yes!’ I can’t say what he says when they lose. I like the Steelers because daddy does and I always trust what my daddy says. He said Tampa Bay would win and they did. I think he’s the smartest man because when he says a team is going to win they do. I always trust daddy.&uot;

Football isn’t O’Brien’s only interest. He also enjoys baseball and a few television shows earn his interest.

&uot;I play baseball with Cypress Chapel Christian Church’s team and I duel with daddy with &uot;Yu-Gi-Oh!’ cards and the show that comes on WB-33 television,&uot; he said. &uot;Also, in the summertime we go fishing at Bennett’s Creek and I’ve caught a lot of fish, but the biggest was a catfish about 12-inches long. I also caught a blowfish at Nag’s Head we made him puff up so we could look at him and then threw him back. I tried to bring a dead one we found home to preserve him but he got to stinking and we put it under a glass bowl. Our cat Tiddles knocked the brick off the top of the bowl and tried to eat him. We had to throw that one out (the blowfish, not the cat).

O’Brien is also proud of his dog, Chief, who’s been his best friend since the boy’s birth. He also has a new puppy, Scooby, and a few more friends in the animal kingdom.

&uot;We have a couple chickens, two rabbits, and Mammy and Papa (grandparents) have a pony, a chicken and a hen and some dogs, and doves.&uot;

Jenny and Billy Epperson are Timothy’s grandparents and his uncle is Danny Epperson of WAVY-TV 10.

&uot;When Danny was little, he went to Elephant’s Fork and had the same teacher, Ms. Lawrence,&uot; he said. &uot;We were on television one time when we were telling them we didn’t like year-round school. My family was also on one time to wish everyone merry Christmas.&uot;

O’Brien said he doesn’t like school, but the fact that he’s an honor roll student contradicts that statement.

&uot;I’ve never been off the honor roll and I’m going to stay on honor roll until I graduate,&uot; he said. &uot;I want to be a scientist that invents things. I’m not too good at math. I only get B’s in math.&uot;

O’Brien is in the gifted program at Elephant’s Fork, and he gave his teacher Jackie Lawrence credit for helping him achieve his status. He has two sisters, 4-year-old Meaghan and 12-year0old Shannon, who are following his academic path.

James and Jenny Lynn O’Brien are his parents. Mom is a full-time homemaker and dad is the landscape superintendent at Smithfield Gardens Inc. on Bridge Road.

&uot;We are extremely proud of Timothy and he knows we are always pleased about whatever he strives to do,&uot; said James. &uot;This is not the first coloring contest he’s won and he’s a good artist. He’s a good student, a great artist and a not-so-bad brother. We are blessed to have him in our lives.&uot;

The O’Briens hold their membership at Cypress Chapel Christian Church, and the boy was an acolyte at the church.

The winner of the News-Herald’s General Electric DVD player, Kathy Owens of Northbrooke Avenue, said this prize came at just the right moment.

&uot;Now, I’ve got to get up and exercise because I no longer have the excuse of not having a DVD player,&uot; said Owens. &uot;I had just purchased a new exercise program on DVD and had no way to play it. Maybe that was my subconscious mind telling me I wouldn’t have to exercise even though I bought the DVD. Now, I have no excuse! I must lose weight.&uot;

Owens said she’s been a News-Herald subscriber for the past 16-years. She enjoys the local flavor and she has two children in Suffolk Public Schools.

&uot;We like the coverage of Little League and the students at my school,&uot; said Owens, a teacher at Nansemond Parkway Elementary. &uot;I like to see the children’s activities and accomplishments recognized in the papers and I think the general public enjoys that, also.&uot;

For information on subscribing to the News-Herald, call 539-3437, extension 628.