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Aanenson wins Xcel Energy safety calendar contest

Sidney Aanenson, third grader at South Elementary, won a contest for her drawing that will appear in the Xcel Energy Safety Calendar. Sidney was awarded an Xcel backpack and a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. Sayward Honer

Sidney Aanenson has enjoyed creating art of all kinds for as long as she can remember.

That interest earned her some special, well-deserved recognition last week as Xcel Energy officials honored the third grade student at South Elementary School in West Fargo by selecting her artwork to appear in the 30th Annual Xcel Energy Safety Calendar.

Quite a distinction, since Sidney's drawing was chosen from more than 1,600 art contest entries received from kindergarten-through-six-grade students across the company's eight-state serving area.

Sidney's artwork, which will be featured in the month of February, displays a clear safety message selected personally by Sidney - 'Don't overload your power strip,' based on the idea that if too many things are hooked up to a television set or any similar electrical equipment, it could become overloaded and cause problems. Sidney's teacher Jorgia Voegele served as advisor for the project.

In addition to being recognized publically with the honor, Sidney was also the recipient of her framed artwork poster, a $50 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble, and a backpack filled with a variety of other prizes.

Sidney is the daughter of Mark and Michele Aanenson of West Fargo. Her dad attended the school presentation, along with Sidney's grandparents Marlyn and Bev Aanenson of Fargo. Her mom was out-of-town on a long-planned trip, but present in spirit. Sidney also has an older sister, Bailey, a 7th grader this fall at Cheney Middle School.

This isn't the first time Sidney has been singled out for her artistic abilities. Last summer she won another local art contest.

Sidney said she was both proud and excited when she got the word that she was a winner. "Art is one of my very favorite things to do."

With school just out, she'll have plenty of time to hone her talent this summer. She also plans to participate in the upcoming Packatahna Dance Camp and spend a lot of time at the lakes and 'hanging out' with grandma Bev.

Everyone will have the opportunity to see Sidney's creation later this summer, when Xcel Energy expects to distribute more than 18,000 safety calendars to K-6 teachers throughout the states it serves. Schools may order calendars through the company's Web site: To access the order form, click on Company, Community, Education Initiatives.

More safety tips, energy information and free educational resources for teachers such as Xcel Energy's "Energy Classroom" are also available on-line.