JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians can put in their two cents on what will grace the back of the state's commemorative quarter to be minted in 2003.
First Lady Lori Hauser Holden presented the 12 finalists from more than 3,000 submitted as part of a statewide contest.
Missouri residents can vote on their favorite designs at the Capitol Building in Jefferson City or online at the Governor's web site. Three to five winners will be sent to the U.S Mint for final designs.
Eight of the 12 designs -- including a design by Columbia artist Paul Jackson -- feature the Missouri River, while five feature the St. Louis Arch.
Five designs came from students, who submitted over 75% of all the entries in the contest. Shortly after Holden unveiled the artwork, a group of Tiger Cub Scouts from Columbia reviewed the designs and voted for their favorites, with most preferring designs submitted by kids.
"I liked how it looked," said Tiger Cub Joel Jackson, referring to a design featuring the St. Louis arch and a Pony Express rider.
"I think it was a good drawing," added Jessie Loch.
Holden said she was thrilled with the response to the contest and said it was difficult to narrow it down to the group of finalists. The program is an excellent opportunity to show the best that the state has to offer, she said.
"I hope people look at it and say, 'That's pretty neat,'" Holden said.
After the mint's designs are finalized, Gov. Bob Holden and the first lady will decide the winner. The design will be part of the 24th state quarter to be released in the summer of 2003.