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Sarah Wickenhauser, age 11, won with her wonderful artwork. >>>
How does Jesus give light to everyone? (John 1:6-13)
What does the Bible mean when it says Jesus was full of grace and truth? (John 1:14-18)
Sandpoint, Idaho, June 24, 2008 — An 11-year-old girl from Greeley Hill, California, has been named one of 12 winners of dude ranch vacations by the Children’s International Arts Festival.
And because the festival is ongoing until March 31, 2009, other local children are invited to send in entries for a chance to win a similar vacation in the summer of 2009. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org.
As her prize, Sarah Wickenhauser, 11, will spend a week with her family this summer at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sandpoint, Idaho.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Sarah after hearing the news that she was a winner. “It’s like a dream come true!”
Sarah is a home schooled fifth-grader. She was born in Atwater and moved with her family to northern Mariposa County in 1999.
Her parents, David and Lorri Wickenhauser, are the owners and publishers of The Foothill Express, a twice-monthly newspaper in the Lake Don Pedro-Coulterville-Greeley Hill area. Her 16-year-old brother Matt will also be going on the trip.
Sarah is known in her community for being the creator of the “Princess” comic strip, which has been running in her family’s publication since 2004.
Sarah recently spoke by telephone with Janice Schoonover of the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. She was thrilled to learn that she will be assigned her own horse for the week of her stay, and will be able to ride twice a day.
“I can’t wait,” she said. “My whole family is excited. My mom used to ride a lot, but I’ve never ridden a horse in my life.”
The Children’s International Arts Festival is sponsored by KidsTalkAboutGod.org and participating dude ranches. Festival organizer Carey Kinsolving writes a weekly Kids Talk About God column, distributed through Creators Syndicate, and has produced a series of popular TV spots for ABC affiliate that can be seen on the Kids Talk About God website.
Kinsolving said the response to his work has been enthusiastic and heartwarming. Readers are reminded of what Jesus meant when he said we must enter His kingdom with the faith of a child.
“Children have a way of touching our hearts and reminding us that we must come to God with childlike faith,” he said.
To enter the dude ranch vacation festival, children ages 5 through 12 are asked to answer Bible questions and draw art to illustrate their answers. Selected drawings and essays will be published in Kinsolving’s latest project, the “Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John.”
Sarah said she has been encouraging other kids to enter the online arts festival for future prizes.
“Pray about what to draw and write,” she advised. “That’s what I did. And every night I prayed, ‘Please, God, if it’s your will, let me win that contest!’ “
For entry information, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org and click on the “Children’s International Arts Festival” link. Information about the participating dude ranches also appears on the site.
Sandpoint, Idaho Sept. 30, 2008 — An 11-year-old girl’s art work allowed her the opportunity to spend a week with her family at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sandpoint, Idaho. Sarah Wickenhauser of Greeley Hill, California, was one of four U.S. children who won dude ranch vacations from the Children’s International Arts Festival.
Sarah and her family rode daily on trails that roam over more than 1,100 acres of forests, hills and meadows, with sweeping vistas of northern Idaho’s most scenic countryside. They also enjoyed a horse-drawn wagon ride, feasted on hearty ranch fare in the spectacular 10,000-square-foot log lodge, and tapped their toes to folk tunes played around a campfire.
Sarah, a home-schooler who just started sixth grade, said the early September vacation was “a dream come true.” “I got to have my own horse for a whole week,” Sarah said. “I was looking forward to riding all day. It really was a wonderful time. The best part was loping in the arena, and I really liked trotting, once I learned to post.”
The Children’s International Arts Festival is sponsored by KidsTalkAboutGod.org and participating dude ranches. To enter the dude ranch vacation festival, children ages 5 through 12 are asked to answer Bible questions and draw art to illustrate their answers. Selected drawings and essays will be published in festival organizer Carey Kinsolving’s latest online project, the “Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John.”
Because the Children’s International Arts Festival is ongoing until March 31, 2009, all children from ages 5-12 are invited to send in entries for a chance to win a similar vacation in the summer of 2009. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org.
Sarah’s parents, David and Lorri Wickenhauser, and her 16-year-old brother Matt also enjoyed their stay at Sandpoint’s Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
“It was a wonderful vacation – one of our best trips ever,” said Lorri. “It was the type of thing we never could have done otherwise, and we’re so grateful to Roley and Janice Schoonover for donating such a generous prize to the festival.”
This was not the first time the Schoonovers have donated dude ranch visits to charitable causes. In recent years they have hosted guests as part of the Make-A-Wish program for children with life-threatening medical conditions. They also host an annual trail ride at their ranch to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
“Everything that we have here is just a true blessing,” said ranch owner Janice Schoonover, granddaughter of Riley Wood, who brought the family to northern Idaho in the 1940s.
Janice’s parents, Jim and Virginia Wood of Sandpoint, have been integral in helping develop the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch into a top-notch tour destination.
Janice said she and her family try not to take for granted the efforts of their parents and grandparents, who helped pave the way for future generations to enjoy a rural ranching lifestyle.
Participating as sponsors in such programs as the Children’s International Arts Festival, she said, “is part of the way we like to give back, so that other families and kids can experience the joy of horses and the joy of the country and the Northwest, and our blessings that we have received here.”