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Scotties contest could open doors for East End fifth-graderOriginally Published February 14, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated February 13, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.
Cate Gentry, a fifth-grader at East End Intermediate School, has a one-in-12 chance of winning the Scotties Trees Rock! competition with the help of her community.
Cate, 10, is the only finalist from Arkansas among the other contestants, whose home states range from California to New Jersey. After being chosen as a finalist, Cate said, she was given $1,000 to give to the community.
She gave the winnings to the I Can! Dance organization, which gives children with physical disabilities the opportunity to take dance classes in the area of Saline, Faulkner and Pulaski counties.
“It makes me feel pretty good because it’s helping people in need,” Cate said.
Cathy Gentry, Cate’s mother, said she helped Cate film a video about trees. The video features Cate drawing pictures of trees and explaining why trees are important to the Earth.
Cate said she doesn’t have a favorite type of tree but finds that they are important because they provide oxygen to the environment.
“[The video] took about two or three days to shoot,” Cathy said.
Cathy said even if Cate doesn’t win, the experience has been worth it.
“It was a learning experience because we hadn’t ever shot a video,” Cathy said.
When Cate found out she was a finalist, her mom received a phone call from the Scotties contest.
“I was excited,” Cate said.
If Cate wins the national contest, she will be given an award of $5,000 and a tablet computer, and East End Intermediate School will receive $10,000 and a tree-planting event, the official rules state. Cate and her family will also be given an opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park.
Her money will be divided between the I Can! Dance organization and the Ronald McDonald House in Little Rock.
One project Cate’s winnings will go toward will be “The Crossing,” a wheelchair-accessible tree house.
“I think it’s exciting, and I’m proud that she’s gotten this far in the contest,” Cathy said.
Cate’s father, Marc, wants to encourage others to vote for Cate’s video because of where the money she might win will go.
“[The community] needs to vote because in the end, the handicapped children are going to benefit the most,” Marc said.
The winner of the contest will be announced Feb. 22, the contest’s website states.
Voters are allowed to vote once a day through Friday on the Scotties website, www.sco
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