Hundreds of artists from 11 Oregon counties participated in the Oregon Health Authority's statewide art contest for middle school students. Designs from three Marion County youth were chosen among the top 12 to be featured in the 2020 Problem Gambling Awareness calendar. The calendar contest is held annually during March – Problem Gambling Awareness Month.
Walea Tombleson, a 7th grade student from Claggett Creek Middle School in Keizer, was awarded the top state prize and will see her work featured on the cover of the calendar. Artwork from 7th grade students Kelsey Schauer from Whiteaker Middle School in Keizer and McKenna Morales from Waldo Middle School in Salem will be featured in the calendar as well.
The state estimates that about 1-in-37 youth ages 10 to 18 and 1-in-13 adults may have a potential gambling problem. As with alcohol or drug use, problem gambling can turn into an addiction. A person with a gambling disorder is at higher risk of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, relationships with loved ones can suffer. Although most youth do not participate in gambling activities and most adults do not have a gambling problem, it is important for everyone to know it is an activity that carries risk. Free help and treatment is available by calling 1-877-MYLIMIT.
Eighty-five middle school students from Keizer, Salem, Mt. Angel, Jefferson, and Sublimity used these concepts to create their artwork. Marion County awarded prizes for the top five entries that moved on to the state contest and included their artwork on awareness posters. These included the three state award winners as well as Jarrod Kohler, Marion County's top prize winner, from Whiteaker Middle School and Emmanuel Sandoval from Mt. Angel Middle School.
Printing and distribution of the 2020 calendar is scheduled for fall 2019. For more information about problem gambling prevention or to request a free calendar or awareness poster, please contact Michael Keuler, Marion County Health & Human Services, at (503) 576-2867 or visit our website.