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North Huntingdon boy wins Daily News coloring contest with Santa sketch

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
This year's winner of the McKeesport Hospital Foundation-sponsored Christmas Coloring Contest is 10-year-old Nolan Kugler of North Huntingdon Township. He won a $100 Toys'R Us gift card for his crayon and marker depiction of Santa Claus, surrounded by confetti snowflakes.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Applauded by his sisters Abbie and Lily, Nolan Kugler of North Huntingdon Township displays his prize-winning entry in the McKeesport Hospital Foundation-sponsored Christmas Coloring Contest on Tuesday morning.

Nolan Kugler shared an extra connection with Santa Claus during his family's annual Christmas Eve trip to Monroeville Mall.

Nolan, 10, of North Huntingdon Township had just learned of his status as the first-place winner of The Daily News' McKeesport Hospital Foundation-sponsored Christmas Coloring Contest. He won a $100 Toys'R Us gift card for his crayon-and-marker depiction of Santa Claus, surrounded by confetti snowflakes.

“I colored your picture and I won,” was the first thing Nolan said upon greeting the Man in Red on Tuesday morning.

Visiting Santa on Christmas Eve has been a tradition for the Kugler family since Nolan's big sister Abbie, 11, was a baby. Now, it's something they enjoy along with their 5-year-old sister, Lily.

Abbie and Lily congratulated their brother for his success and were happy to be a part of the process. The kids colored entries while visiting with their grandmother Mariane Freda, as they do each day after classes at Queen of Angels Catholic School.

Picking up crayons, markers, pens and paint, they went to work on Dec. 18 to submit an entry by Monday. They got creative with stickers and other special touches.

“I thought of colors that would go well with his red suit,” Nolan said. “I used a hole punch and a white sheet of paper and glued on snowflakes.”

The Christmas Coloring Contest has become a tradition in their family, along with the Santa visits and wacky Elf on the Shelf antics.

“I have The Daily News at home,” Freda said. “Every year, Nolan and (Abbie) take part in the coloring contest. They enjoy it.”

Their parents Micheal and Lisa Kugler said the Christmas holiday brings plenty of customs.

“They've entered the contest every year since they started to color,” Micheal Kugler said. “They do that. They make gingerbread houses. They do a lot of Christmas activities at their grandmother's house.”

The traditions don't end there.

“Everything we do this time of year is a tradition,” Micheal Kugler said. “The train we put around our tree is the same one my dad had as a kid.”

Despite his talent, art doesn't rank among Nolan's favorite classes. He enjoys and excels in math.

Outside of school, Nolan is active in soccer, football and karate.

Also recognized in the 2013 coloring contest are second-place awardee Haley Peretic, 13, of White Oak; and third-place awardee Maegan Jordan, 10, of North Huntingdon Township. Haley will receive a $50 gift card, and Maegan will receive a $25 gift card.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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