Allison Rivera, 9, enjoys playing any game with a ball, including tennis with a neighbor.
But regardless of whether the East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, resident ever masters her forehand or backhand, she’s already a skilled freehand artist.
“She loves to draw, loves to color,” said her mother, Debbie. “She always has.”
And she’s gotten so good at it that the fourth-grader at J.E. Fritz Elementary School aced this year’s Royer’s Flowers & Gifts Kids Club birthday card design contest.
Her winning entry will adorn the electronic card that kids club members will receive on their birthdays in the coming year. Her design features white daisies set against a purple background and the message, “Have a Flowertastic Birthday!”
Allison’s prize is a free flower delivery on her next birthday.
Allison, whose family also includes her sister, Emily, 8, and father, Angel, loves to draw flowers and people, her mother said. One of her specialties is drawing a person’s face on the side of a cake when it is his or her birthday.
The Royer’s Kids Club is free to ages 5 to 12. With parental permission, children may register for the kids club here or at any Royer’s store. Kids club benefits include a membership card, online activities, a quarterly e-mail newsletter, contests and events.
Like the start of summer break itself, Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual birthday card design contest presents a blank canvas.
Royer’s is challenging children ages 5 to 12 to design an email birthday card that all Royer’s Kids Club members will receive in the year ahead.
The artist with the winning entry will receive a free bouquet delivery on his or her next birthday.
To enter the contest, download an entry form here or pick up one at any Royer’s store, create a design, and drop off the entry at any Royer’s store by July 15.
Good luck to everyone!
If Marisa Heisey ends up at a college in western Pennsylvania, the Conestoga Valley High School junior will follow in the footsteps of her older brother, Alex. He is a sophomore at Grove City College, an hour north of Pittsburgh.
It wouldn’t be the first time the close siblings have walked similar paths. A decade ago, they won Royer’s Kids Club contests in back-to-back years.
In 2010, Alex, then in third grade, won the kids club’s birthday card design contest. In 2011, Marisa, then in first grade, won a back-to-school coloring contest. (In 2017, while in seventh grade, Marisa also won the birthday card design contest.)
Alex and Marisa are the children of Nevin and Joy Heisey of East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County. At the time of Alex’s win, his mother said, “Both of my kids love flowers.”
We caught up with Joy recently for an update on what her children, long since having graduated from the kids club, are up to now.
At Grove City College, Alex is majoring in business management with a focus on supply chain.
“He loves Grove City,” Joy said. “He really is enjoying his experience there.”
While some colleges resorted to online studies-only during the pandemic, Grove City stuck with in-person classes, albeit at times with mask requirements.
“He’s very thankful to be in-person on campus this whole time,” Joy said.
His varied interests and busy schedule have taken Alex beyond his school’s campus, too.
Through his involvement with Impact, Grove City’s outdoor adventure leadership program, Alex has backpacked in southern Virginia, ice climbed in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and skied in New York.
He is a library aide, training to become a tour guide, and a member of the school’s human-powered vehicle club. The latter involved designing and building something that resembled a recumbent bicycle and racing it in Michigan.
When we spoke with Joy, she had just come back from one of five planned college visits with Marisa, who is leaning toward nursing school, either in Pennsylvania or Ohio. She was preparing to take the SATs in May and again in June.
Marisa is active in student council, music and science honor societies, school bible study and her church’s youth group. She is one of eight Conestoga Valley girls participating in a mentorship program through the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce. She works in the bake shop at Kitchen Kettle Village.
“She still loves drawing,” Joy said. “She’s very much (into) water colors, she likes to paint ceramics.”
Joy fondly recalled her children’s involvement with the Royer’s Kids Club. They were such regulars at kids club events that store employees knew the family members by name, Joy said. Marisa was officially too young for the club when Alex started going, but the staff would let her participate anyway.
The Heiseys still have mugs, vases and baskets from the various kids club event projects.
“That’s a good memory,” Joy said of attending events.
Better still, the kids club events seem to have inspired a lasting love for flowers in Joy’s children.
Last fall, Marisa won a flower-arranging contest at the West Lampeter Fair, just as she – and Alex – had done in years past.