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Lake Orion teen's design wins at Michigan's DNR

Lauren Gamboa holds up her patch design which will soon grace the shoulders of hunters statewide. Photo by O. Shumaker (click for larger version)

(click for larger version)
December 05, 2012 - By Olivia Shumaker

Review Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving having just passed, the timing was appropriate when Lake Orion High School freshman Lauren Gamboa was announced as the winner of the 2013 Michigan Wild Turkey Cooperator Patch Contest.

The contest was through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. In the contest, entrants had to create a design for a patch focusing on turkeys.

The winning design—this year, Gamboa's design—was made into a patch which can be purchased by hunters with a valid license to hunt wild turkeys as well as collectors. Proceeds from the patch will fund projects related to wild turkeys as well as Michigan wildlife management.

"They said they were looking for something new," Gamboa said. "It came up and I thought, 'Why not?'"

Gamboa was an eighth grade student at Waldon Middle School when she first heard about the contest from her science teacher, Jon Gray. Her design incorporates a turkey's tail, breast, and wing feathers.

"The feathers are what come to mind when I think of a turkey," Gamboa said.

Though Gamboa heard about the contest from Gray, what inspired her to enter was her grandfather, an artist who entered and won a nationwide art contest.

"I thought, 'If he can do it, I can do it.' So I did it," Gamboa said.

Aside from the contest, Gamboa is a band student doing winter percussion and is also a lacrosse player. While she is not currently an art student, Gamboa is a member of the high school Art Club/National Art Honor Society, and she remains inspired by her success in the contest.

"If you try something as hard as you can, dreams can come true," Gamboa said.

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