West Newton family hopes to win 'Walking Dead' competition

| Monday, March 4, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

A lot of moms will do anything for their daughters.

But chewing nylons soaked in grape jelly?

Absolutely, for West Newton resident Melissa Litvany.

A first-grade teacher at Marion Elementary in the Belle Vernon Area School District, Litvany proudly chews jelly-soaked nylons in a video made with her daughter, Meghan, for the “One-of-a-Kind Fan Contest” being conducted by AMC's “The Walking Dead.”

Looking for a fan who stands out in “the horde” of other “Walking Dead” fans, executive producer of the show, Robert Kirkman, will vote on the 60-second videos. The grand prize is a trip to Los Angeles, Calif., where the winner will walk the red carpet for the show's Season 4 premiere.

“She's the big fan, but she's only 17, so I entered the contest for her,” Litvany said with reference to her oldest daughter. “She has the T-shirts, seasons one and two on DVD, posters ... we watch the show every Sunday together.”

The Litvany's video, is titled “Mother of All Zombies” since Melissa Litvany is the feature's star.

“I didn't swallow the nylons and I like grape jelly, so why not? It's funny because all of my students and their parents think I'm a little crazy,” Litvany said. “The parents are really enjoying it, though. They all know I'd do anything for my daughter.

“I did this for her because I encourage all three of my girls to have big dreams and go for them. I also encourage this with my first graders.

“When Meghan is passionate about something, she goes into it full force and involves all of the family. My dream in life was to have a close-knit family like I came from and that's what we have.”

Litvany describes Meghan, 17, as “not a typical teenager” and “a very good girl.”

“She's very committed. This is her passion. She loves the makeup and dresses up her two younger sisters,” Litvany said.

Litvany has two other daughters, Haley, 6, and Noelle, 9, who often become Meghan's “victims” and models.

“There's plenty of times that I come home to ‘zombie' girls. She has the other two all dressed up in full makeup,” Litvany said with a laugh. “I've spent hundreds of dollars on liquid latex and fake blood. That's all I need to make her happy. I think we're keeping them in business.” Litvany said Meghan, a senior at BVA, is looking to continue her education focusing on special effects makeup and graphic design.

“Ever since she was younger she's been into the gory movies,” she added. “She loves the makeup and how the characters look.”

Meghan's bedroom is “something horrifically scary,” according to her mom.

She's been interested in special effects since age 10. While her birthday is in August, it is celebrated around Halloween, with gifts that include special voyages out of state to various haunted attractions.

“She's a good girl and I wanted to do this for her,” Litvany said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for her if she wins. Any parent wants that for their child.”

Meghan won first place for the design of her own costume in the Donora Halloween parade in October and plans to enter the “Run for Your Life” zombie 5K race in August.

“I entered her in this contest because she is a die-hard ‘Walking Dead' fan and is very passionate about special effects,” Litvany said. “I just go along with her.”

To vote for “Mother of All Zombies,” go to facebook.com and “like” the “Walking Dead” page. After clicking on fan contest and the “One-of-a-Kind Fan Contest” link, search for the name of the video and view it. On the page will be a link to vote for the video. People can vote every day, once a day. The deadline for voting is March 13. The winner will be announced on the season finale of “The Walking Dead” on March 17.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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