Peyton rides away with rail safety contest victory

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Peyton Maree, 3, of  Hamlet, enjoys her first ride on her first bicycle, a prize awarded to her as winner of the Stay Back from the Tracks

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Peyton Maree, 3, of Hamlet, enjoys her first ride on her first bicycle, a prize awarded to her as winner of the Stay Back from the Tracks

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — Peyton Maree wasn’t much for talking Friday afternoon at the Hamlet Visitors Center.

In fact, once the 3-year-old Hamlet resident overcame her initial shyness, she was torn between being a ham for the cameras and racing her new bicycle around the protected displays of the museum. Ultimately, she chose the bike.

Peyton Maree, 3, of Hamlet, was selected as the Stay Back from the Tracks coloring contest.

Peyton Maree, 3, of Hamlet, was selected as the Stay Back from the Tracks coloring contest. This is her drawing.

The bike was the top prize in a package of awards Peyton took home after being selected as the winner of the annual Stay Back from the Tracks coloring contest for kids. Miranda Chavis, museum manager, said approximately 800 Operation Lifesaver coloring books were distributed to children over the past month and 133 of them were turned in.

Once turned in, Sam Ballard, vice president of the Hamlet Depot & Museums board of directors, had the arduous task of randomly selecting the winner from a hat. Lucky for Peyton, the name on the winning ticket was hers.

As Michelle Smith, Peyton’s mother, and other family members looked on, Peyton was awarded a hat and shoe bag of other goodies by Jim Graham, board president, and Lt. T.V. Kirkley, of the CSX Railroad Police and a representative of Operation Lifesaver.

The month-long campaign is intended to promote safety in railroad towns just like Hamlet. Kirkley said all too often people think of tracks as public property and places to play. Both are inaccurate assumptions, Kirkley said, that can hinder individual safety.

Smith said it was Peyton’s first bicycle, through she’s a tricycle veteran.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Peyton Maree, 3, first was bashful but soon warmed up to the crowd of cameras and well-wishers as she received her contest prizes.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Peyton Maree, 3, first was bashful but soon warmed up to the crowd of cameras and well-wishers as she received her contest prizes.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com CSX Railroad Police Lt. T.V. Kirkley, of Operation Lifesaver, right, and Jim Graham, president of the Hamlet Depot & Museums board of directors, present Peyton Maree, 3, of Hamlet, a bicycle and other prizes for being randomly selected as the contest winner from among 133 entries.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
CSX Railroad Police Lt. T.V. Kirkley, of Operation Lifesaver, right, and Jim Graham, president of the Hamlet Depot & Museums board of directors, present Peyton Maree, 3, of Hamlet, a bicycle and other prizes for being randomly selected as the contest winner from among 133 entries.

 

 

 

 

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