Face of former Nanty Glo couple's grand-daughter on million macaroni & cheese boxes

February 22 2002

A photo of 10-year-old Holly Manning, the grand-daughter of former Nanty Glo residents Dominic and Sallie Covolo, is gracing more than a million boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese now in stores. Holly, who with her family lives in Gresham, Oregon, is one of 12 children from throughout the nation who were grand prize winners in Kraft's fifth annual "I Want the Blues!" contest. Each of the winners, besides being pictured on the boxes, won family vacations to Orlando, Fla., and $10,000 college scholarships.

"It's kind of weird," the fourth-grader told Lisa Daniels, a reporter for her home city newspaper, the Portland Oregonian. "You would never think of your face being on a macaroni and cheese box."

Approximately 10,000 children entered the contest, to which they submitted an essay, video or drawing expressing why they love Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Holly's entry was a crayon likeness of herself eating the product, which has long made its advertising pitches to the youngest generation of consumers. In her portrait, shown below, she made her mouth big and open to show her teeth smiling and dancing accompanied by pieces of bright orange macaroni, and wrote at the bottom, "I love Kraft Mac & Cheese so much, it makes my teeth dance."

Says her hometown paper: "It was the second time Holly placed in the Kraft contest, which has given out $600,000 in college scholarships in the past five years. After drawing a similar picture last year, she earned honorable mention and a year's supply of mac and cheese, delivered in dozens of little blue boxes directly to the family's home. Holly's mother, Toni Manning, had a hunch her oldest daughter would win this year, as Holly used her noodle to improve her entry by drawing her face a little larger. As soon as a package addressed to Holly showed up at the house last fall, her mom knew she was right.

"'How often does a 10-year-old get a Federal Express letter?' she said. Holly has enjoyed macaroni and cheese since she was a baby. Her mother remembers that Holly and several other toddlers would eat macaroni and cheese together after their play sessions because it was one of the few dishes all the kids would eat.

"Holly, an eager spokeschild [in a school picture at right], said she likes Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for many reasons. 'I love the taste,' she said. 'I like how it feels, how you can put it on each prong of your fork.' The straight-A student at Open Door Christian Academy in Troutdale plans on using her $10,000 scholarship at Harvard University, where she hopes to study to become an art teacher. Until then, she's indulging in what she thinks is the best part of winning: the trip to Orlando and Disney World.

"Last week, Holly and her mother; father, Tom Manning; grandmother, Shirley Ann Manning; and younger sisters, Heidi and Hannah Manning, were treated to delicacies such as stir-fry vegetables and waffles shaped like Mickey Mouse. After all that fancy food, Holly found herself looking forward to savoring her reliable standby.

"During a party celebrating the 65th 'birthday' of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, all the winners and guests were treated to a lunch of you-know-what. 'It's great!'" Holly said.

Holly's maternal grandfather, Dominic Covolo, is a Nanty Glo native, and he and his wife, Asheville, NC native Sallie Covolo, lived in Nanty Glo after they started their family, for some time when Dominic was employed in Johnstown. The couple, who now live in Galt, Calif., were also featured in the Home Page's most recent Where Are They Now column by Judy Rose.


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