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UW-River Falls senior attempts to leave creative legacy

March 4, 2015

One senior student at UW-River Falls is a finalist for two different contests that would leave his mark on the campus and community, long after he leaves.

Blake Johnson is a senior from Cadott, Wisconsin, and has a chance to win the official flag for the city of River Falls and the official sandwich of UWRF. Within one day, he found out that he was a finalist for both of the competitions.

“I’m really appreciative of being a finalist of both, and it’s exciting to know I could make an impact on the community,” Johnson said.

The Erbert and Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop was created in 1988 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and is located in 12 different states around the U.S., mainly located near college areas. Since opening in 1988, the company has grossed more than $22 million and is opening chains outside of the Midwest, like Arizona and New York.

The Erbert and Gerbert’s bistro in the University Center, located on the UWRF campus, is giving the student body an opportunity of a lifetime. The bistro is letting the students get their creative juices flowing by coming up with the official sandwich of the college.

“Fredrick Tail Feather” is the name of the sandwich that students were asked to create in order to make it on the Erbert and Gerbert’s menu. After a wide variety of entries in the contest, it was narrowed down to the top three last week.

The three sandwich finalists for the contest are: chicken, bacon and ranch; Turkey and chipotle citrus barbecue sauce; and turkey, provolone and pesto mayo.

Currently leading the bunch with 42 percent of the votes is the sandwich created by Johnson: the turkey & chipotle citrus barbecue sauce.

“I just wanted to make a sandwich that everyone would enjoy,” Johnson said. “Plus, it would be pretty cool to say that I have the official sandwich of [UWRF].”

Johnson said that he heard about the contest online and thought it would be a great way to get involved with the school and leave a legacy.

Of course, this isn’t Johnson’s first time being a finalist for a contest. He recently has been selected as a finalist for the “River Falls Flag Challenge,” where he is going up against four other competitors.

Back in October, the mayor of River Falls posted a video on rfcity.org, and its social media accounts saying the city doesn’t have an official flag and wants someone from the community to create the flag.

“We’ve had great selections to choose from that really represent the city well,” said Mayor Dan Toland about the flag challenge finalists in a video.

The rules for the contest included the use of only five colors, while including the name of the city and the year it was incorporated (1885). Johnson and his roommates saw this video on one of the city’s social media accounts, which sparked Johnson’s creative side. After a few hours, he had designed the flag that best would represent the city.

“It would be great to come back to River Falls and see the flag I made,” Johnson said. “It would also be nice to win the money.”