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Teen wins grand prize for film honoring her grandparents

Boring girl enters video in nationwide contest, promoting her elders


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO:  - William Strang II and his wife of 56 years, Charnell Strang, are pictured at their home in California.Bethany Strang, 19, who lives near Tickle Creek Road in Boring, believes in fairy tales so much she wrote a film script that would rival Cinderella’s story.

But this fairy tale is a true story of a contemporary prince who will save a damsel in distress because she didn’t have a partner at the college dance.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO:  - Bethany Strang put her filmmaking skills to good use, making a short video honoring her grandparents and winning a $10,000 vacation to Florida for her, her grandparents and another person of her choice.This story and the fairy tale film script Strang wrote have two purposes: to honor her grandparents and to show that fairy tales really do come true.

The prince and damsel are her grandparents, now living in California.

Strang’s video, recorded on a point-and-shoot camera, was entered in a contest sponsored by Consumer Cellular and AARP, two organizations that wanted to honor seniors at the annual celebration of Grandparents Day on Sept. 8.

What happened next is one for Strang’s memory book: Out of the nearly 3,000 videos and essays across the nation, Strang’s three-minute video won the grand prize.

She has won a weeklong trip for four to Orlando, Fla., with airfare, hotel, car rental and theme park tickets — valued at approximately $10,000.

When Strang and another person of her choosing takes her grandparents on this trip, no one will be more proud than William Strang II and Charnell Strang, his wife of 56 years.

The example these elder Strangs have set for the entire family will live in everyone’s memory for many years, Bethany Strang said.

“I think it is so incredible that they have bestowed on their grandchildren a legacy of love and loyalty,” she said. “It’s just remarkable.”

Strang wrote the script, thinking it would feel a little like a fairy tale, but she also wanted to show that it is a true story. Her grandparents did meet at a college dance; she gave him her phone number; but he didn’t call her the next day.

She was heartbroken, but at the next dance they met again and they danced together happily into a life they have enjoyed for more than five decades.

“I have always admired my grandparents because of their commitment to each other, and the heritage they have given their children and grandchildren and, Lord willing, one day my children,” Strang said.

In writing the script, Strang also wanted to honor her parents, William Strang III and Cynthia Strang, who have been married 32 years.

“I’m very thankful and grateful for my parents, because it’s a generational thing,” she said. “When marriages stay together, that’s what creates a strong nation.”

The same can be said for families that stay together. The Strang family of Boring includes two parents, four daughters and three sons, all living in the family home.

Strang says she and all of her siblings feel blessed that they have had consistent guidance and mentorship for the formation of their lives.

“This is a story that we, as grandchildren, and our parents will cherish for our lifetimes,” she said. “It’s about a generation that has left a legacy of love.”

To view the video, visit https://www.consumercellular.com/grandparents/Gallery?id=628.