A Holiday Gift, from Jersey City Students to PATH Riders

By Lenis Rodrigues, Media Relations Staff; Photos by Mike Dombrowski

Jersey City eighth-grader Renfrew Maristela isn’t fond of math, but he loves art and his family – and that combination helped him capture the grand prize today in PATH’s annual Holiday Poster Contest. Renfrew’s poster, depicting a train picking up a snowman to visit his family, will be displayed throughout the holiday season in PATH cars and stations.

PATH Poster Contest grand prize winner Renfrew Maristela

PATH Poster Contest grand prize winner Renfrew Maristela

PATH received more than 350 submissions this year – the 28th consecutive year PATH has partnered with the Jersey City school system in hosting the event – and winners were named in three categories. Renfrew, a student at P.S. 23 whose father is an artist, also won in the grade 6-8 category.

Cora Kerr of P.S. 16 was named the winner in the grade 3-5 category and Skyla-Jean Woomer of P.S. 28 was chosen from grades K-2. Cora and Skyla-Jean’s posters will be on display in PATH stations. The winning entries will have quite the audience: during the holiday season, about 6.7 million passengers take PATH.

PATH Poster Contest winners from left to right are Renfrew, Skyla-Jean, Cora with PATH General Manager Mike Marino

PATH Poster Contest winners from left to right are Renfrew, Skyla-Jean, Cora with PATH General Manager Mike Marino

Click here to view the winning posters.

Cora had a particular approach in mind when she started designing her poster. “I’ve seen some people decorate their cars with reindeer antlers, so I thought I should dress the PATH up as a reindeer,” she said of her submission, which showed two snowmen heading to the North Pole to pick up presents from Santa.

Skyla-Jean’s mom, Victoria Valdez, was thrilled with her daughter’s big win. “It’s a monumental moment for me. I was blown out of the water,” she said. “I don’t think she realizes how excited I am for her — more than she is for herself.”

The ceremony, held at PATH’s Journal Square headquarters in Jersey City, also featured a performance of Christmas songs by the Jersey City Arts Vocal Choir, and was followed by a luncheon to honor the winners.

Jersey City Arts Vocal Program sang Christmas carols for PATH Poster Contest ceremony

Jersey City Arts Vocal Program sang Christmas carols for PATH Poster Contest ceremony

“This is one of the highlights of our year,” said PATH Director/General Manager Michael Marino, who noted that “it gets harder to pick a winner, since the quality of submissions is only getting better each year.”

Added Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Maria Lyles: “We are delighted with this continued partnership that will not only usher in the season but showcase our talented students’ work … and highlight the work done by our tremendous staff.”

Each winner received four tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and complimentary 10-trip PATH SmartLink cards, provided by the Port Authority, for the trip to and from the show. The Port Authority awarded the winners with $50 American Express Gift cards, and they are receiving art supplies from the Jersey City Visual and Performing Arts Department and Jersey City Board of Education.

 

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