Thompson Middle School seventh-grader Eleni Cooper was selected as this year’s winner of the 8th Annual Newport Holiday Card Contest for her subtle and creative nod to the City.  Upon first glance, Eleni’s design is a simple Christmas tree. But upon closer inspection, the tree is adorned with ornaments that serve as unique and artful homages to the City by the Sea.  To honor Eleni’s work of art, Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano presented Eleni with a framed copy of her card and multiple blank cards to mail out to friends and family.

The Newport Holiday Card Contest was started in 2008 by the City of Newport Human Resources Department.  They reached out to Alan Bernstein the Supervisor of the Arts at the Newport School Department with their idea of creating student involvement with the official City holiday card. Working with Nicolle Icart, Art Teacher at Thompson Middle School, they created the Newport Holiday Card Contest and it has been growing ever since.  Every year the number of submissions grows, making the contest an enduring and festive tradition for students to enjoy.

Mayor Napolitano congratulated all the students for their wonderful artistry.  The Newport Holiday Card has been sent to over 350 city employees and related others. Eleni will celebrate her victory with a pizza party at lunch for her and nine of her friends. The winning drawing’s now on display on the bulletin board behind the greeter’s desk at City Hall.

For further information:  Contact Daryl Kolator, City of Newport, Human Resources Department, Human Resources Assistant at 401-845-5444 or

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.