The cards are handmade, decorated with crayons, tempera paint and glitter, and ready to spread holiday cheer in a way that can only come from the hearts and minds of children. But this is not a family’s or a school’s holiday mailing, these individually hand-made cards have been sent out every year since 2007 by the team at Investor Solutions.
The Holiday Card Contest was conceived 2 years ago by Frank Armstrong, president of Investor Solutions – an independent, fee-only fiduciary investment management firm located in Coconut Grove, Florida. Frank wanted to create a unique holiday experience for his clients, while benefiting local community schools. “We thought, wouldn’t it be good if we could send a unique card to each client, while at the same time keeping our money local?” The firm came up with the concept of having art classes at local public schools design and create the unique cards. “So, here we are! This program continues to be a win-win for everyone” said Mr. Armstrong, as he handed a check for $2,500 to 6th grade student Diana Musa, art teacher Mrs. Cruz and principal Ms. Delgado representing this year’s First Place winning school, Shenandoah Middle School.
The other 2009 winners include: Second Place Finish ($1,000.00) to Hialeah Middle School with Individual Winner Yesenia Padron; Third Place Finish ($750.00) to Hialeah Gardens Middle School with Individual Winner David Fernandez; and Fourth Place Finish ($500.00) to Jose de Diego Middle School with Individual Winner David Lopez. The money is given to the schools specifically to support their art programs, and the individual winners receive $100 and $50 gift certificates.
The participating schools were provided with art supplies and card stock and were given three weeks to complete the “assignment”. Partnering with Miami-Dade Public Schools, guidelines were given for the designs and messages of the cards, and winners were chosen by the Investor Solutions team. The overall school finishes were based on the individual winning card and on the rankings of all cards submitted by that school judged on quality, creativity and attention to detail. “We are thrilled to be able to contribute something meaningful to four of our public schools while at the same time thanking our clients and wishing them a wonderful holiday season”, said Frank Armstrong.
First place winner receives check for Shenandoah Middle School Art Department – From left to right, Diana Musa (student), Ms. Delgado (principal), Frank Armstrong (president of Investor Solutions), Mrs. Cruz (art teacher)