By Christine June, USAG Kaiserslautern Public AffairsMarch 11, 2010
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern's Directorate of Public Works Environmental Management Division is sponsoring an Earth Day 2010 Contest until March 17 to develop a character for its proposed environmental awareness and conservation mascot - "Willie B. Wasteful."
"We are looking for a fairly simple cartoon character that can be used locally to enhance environmental awareness and encourage energy and water conservation," said Don Doran, a garrison's Environmental Protection Specialist, who initiated this contest.
Doran explained that the winning character will be advertised locally through American Forces Network-Kaiserslautern and military newspapers, and possibly posters.
"Just showing (the selected character) 'Willie B. Wasteful' will automatically bring up all the environmental information in people's mind previously provided in multiple training sessions," said Hans Betzhold, the garrison's EMD chief, on how he envisions this character.
"This contest is a very good opportunity to get independent opinions on how this character should look like."
The character, Doran said, should have a universal application to many environmental programs such as buying "green," protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and energy, waste prevention, reducing water usage and increasing recycling.
He added that the winning character will be rolled-out in conjunction with the garrison's activities for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22.
Founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day is designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It is now celebrated in many countries every year.
"Incidentally, if people think they have a better name for their character, we are open to a name change," Doran said, who added that "Willi B. Wasteful" was the name that came to him when he was conceptualizing this contest.
"It is open to anyone's imagination for a memorable, attention-getting character that can enhance environmental interest and be fun for our community."
There will be one winning submission, Doran said, and the selection will be made by professionals from the garrison's DPW environmental and utilities sections.
"We will be selecting based on the best example for catching the public's attention and conveying memorable environmental awareness and conservation messages," Doran said.
The contest is only open to Kaiserslautern military community's U.S. ID-card holders and their family members and there is not an age restriction, Doran said.