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West Lincoln girl advances in contest

Lincoln County’s star sandwich-maker is headed to New York Cityfor a chance to win a huge scholarship for college after collectingenough votes to ascend to the top five in the Jif Most CreativePeanut Butter Sandwich Contest.

Nine-year-old Emily Goss and her parents will board a plane andleave the county behind on March 18 for a four-day trip to New YorkCity’s SoHo community to pit her spider-like sandwich, the “CreepyDelicious Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich,” against four others fromaround the nation for the chance to win a $25,000 scholarship tothe college of her choice. Just making the top five has alreadyguaranteed her a $2,500 scholarship, and now she’s going for thegusto.

“It’s awesome,” said the West Lincoln Attendance Center student.”Mom was getting out of the car to get the mail when (the Jifrepresentative) called, and I was at the end of my drivewayscreaming.”

Goss described the situation as perfect, saying she is confidenther eight-legged sandwich will best the competition. Before she andher family depart for the contest, she said there are three thingsshe has to do.

“Practice, practice, practice,” Goss said.

Goss said she would go to college “wherever the check says,” butshe seems to have Mississippi State University on her mind everytime the question is asked. She wants to pursue an education thatwould make her a “wildlife expert,” so she could continue herchildhood hobby of playing with and collecting bugs and lizardsprofessionally.

Emily’s mother, Rita Goss, said the votes and points accumulatedfor each child’s sandwich would be wiped away, and the top fivecontestants will compete from scratch before a panel of judges. Shesaid the 100-point scale would be broken down into 30 possiblepoints for creativity, 25 possible each for taste and nutritionalbalance, and 10 points each for appearance and ease ofcreation.

Aside from the chance to pay for college nine years in advance,Rita Goss said her family would slow down and enjoy the trip to NewYork City, the Gosses’ first.

“We’ll have free time on Thursday and Friday afternoon, andthat’s about it,” she said. “But we want to go to the Statue ofLiberty, the Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building.There’s so much to do. We have some family that’s going with us,too, and we’ve looked at different things.”

Ken Goss said he was proud of his daughter and looking forwardto the family experience for his wife and daughter.

“I’m gonna be just kind of taking it in and watching them takeit in,” he said. “We’ll all be together and it’s going to be a goodexperience for all of us.”

Ken Goss said he was at work when Emily called to tell him thefamily was New York bound.

“I couldn’t hardly make her out,” he said. “I thought she waschoking but she was squealing.”

Ken Goss said he was excited about the chance to pay for Emily’scollege education before she even moves up to middle school, buthe’s going to focus on enjoying the experience with his family.

“We just turned around and said whatever God wants, whether wewin or not,” he said. “We’ll just have fun. I’m ready to go.”