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Hometown pride goes viral: Girls honored for video promoting Westport's appeal

Published 6:17 am, Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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  • Sutton Lindau, Sydney Newman and Clara Holleman, all 11, were honored at Tuesday's session of the Representative Town Meeting for a video they made promoting the town's appeal, which helped Westport win a state tourism contest. Photo: Jarret Liotta / Westport News
    Sutton Lindau, Sydney Newman and Clara Holleman, all 11, were honored at Tuesday's session of the Representative Town Meeting for a video they made promoting the town's appeal, which helped Westport win a state tourism contest. Photo: Jarret Liotta

 

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Who would have thought learning about your hometown could earn statewide recognition?

Three Westport girls were saluted Tuesday by the Representative Town Meeting for doing just that.

The trio -- Clara Holleman, Sutton Lindau and Sydney Newman, all 11 years old -- won the kudos for creating a video chronicling what they like about their hometown, which helped Westport win top honors in a contest sponsored by the state Office of Tourism.

"The Connecticut Office of Tourism sponsored a contest last month and Westport was voted as the `Connecticut Still Revolutionary' Fan Favorite Town of the Year," First Selectman Jim Marpe told the RTM, crediting the girls' video as a major factor in the town's designation.

"This video ignited the momentum for the voting that took place," he said, helping the town collect the most votes in the statewide contest through its website and Facebook page.

"It feels awesome," Clara said of the honor. "And I learned a lot about Westport," she added.

The youngsters were presented citations from Marpe honoring their efforts on the town's behalf.

The four-minute video, which was shown during the RTM session, features the girls traveling around town to various historic, recreational and commercial sites and promoting their appeal.

"Compo Beach was chosen as the top destination in Westport," Marpe said of the contest results.

"Over 40,000 people voted this year," Randy Fiveash, director of the state's Office of Tourism, said of the Fan Favorite competition.

He said that while Connecticut residents sometimes show lukewarm enthusiasm for the state as a whole, they take great pride in their individual communities. "So what our purpose was in producing this kind of campaign was to really showcase that and really bring that to life," he said.

"On behalf of the town of Westport, and as its first selectman, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your passion, your plucky attitude and your town spirit," Marpe told the three girls.

"I definitely learned a lot," said Sutton. "I'm very proud of our town and I'm excited that we won."

"If you work together as a team, you can accomplish many, many things," Sydney said.