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Local students are finalists in national SC Johnson sanitizer dispenser design contest

Local students are finalists in national SC Johnson sanitizer dispenser design contest


RACINE — Two Racine students are finalists in SC Johnson Professional’s national Happy Hands dispenser design contest.

The design contest for K-12 students promotes the importance of hand washing and sanitizing in school, according to a press release from SC Johnson Professional.

Penny Gullicksrud, a kindergartener at Trinity Lutheran School in Racine is a finalist in the elementary school division while Wilfred Ortiz, a sixth grader at Gifford K-8, is a finalist in the middle and high school category.

“I did a whole bunch of different colored bubbles and I wrote ‘wash your hands on it,’” Gullicksrud said of her design.

Ortiz is the youngest finalist in his division by several years with the next-oldest student a sophomore in high school.

“It is sanitizer chasing coronavirus around the world as the world is sick,” Ortiz said of his design.

Gullicksrud is also the youngest in her division, with the next-oldest student in second grade.

Ortiz encourages readers to go online and vote for him, “because I took a lot of time on it and I do feel like it fits best in with this year.”

Gullicksrud said that people should vote for her design so that her school will receive prize money and so that they can see her art on the dispensers.

Ortiz was particularly interested in drawing cartoons at the time the contest was taking submissions, so he decided to create a cartoon design referencing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ortiz said he feels honored to be one of the finalists and added that he was “really excited” when he found out that his design had been chosen as one of the best.

“I was bursting out in joy,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz has always been interested in art, but got into it even more this year since he had more free time due to COVID-19 restrictions and cancellations. Two pieces of his artwork, a painting and a drawing, were displayed at Wustum Museum last year.

In addition to creating art, Ortiz enjoys playing basketball, playing with his sister and with his pet bearded dragon.

Gullicksrud enjoys playing with her dogs, dancing, riding bikes and playing soccer.

“Each design showcased an incredible amount of creativity, artistic talent and imagination,” said Mike Flagg, head of SC Johnson Professional’s North American business, in a press release. “There’s no question that hand hygiene is an important measure for preventing the spread of germs. The Happy Hands contest makes educating and promoting clean hands at school more memorable and engaging for all students.”

To vote for your favorite design through Feb. 28, visit

The winning design in each division will receive the top prize, which includes $1,000 for the two grand prize winners’ school, a $300 gift card for each winning student, and up-to 1,000 manual soap/sanitizer dispensers featuring the student’s winning design. The official grand prize winner will be announced in April.

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Caitlin Sievers covers education in Racine County with a primary focus on Racine Unified School District. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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