Our Cover, Your Kid Contest

First-Place Winner, Madeleine Murphy

Written by Amy Palser

Madeleine Louise Murphy may look like a porcelain doll, but as the only girl in the family, this Wichita kindergartener isn’t afraid to get dirty outside or to stand her ground in a confrontation. “With two older brothers, you have to be assertive and speak your mind,” mom Kami Murphy said with a laugh.

“Maddie Lou,” as her family calls her, is this year’s Our Cover, Your Kid winner. With her blond hair, dimpled cheeks, charming smile and precocious personality, our judges knew this Shirley Temple-esque cutie belonged on our December cover.

Maddie is the daughter of Kami and Mark Murphy of Wichita, and the granddaughter of Barry and Jane Murphy of Wichita and Glen and Janet Williams of Garden City. While she loves to play with brothers Aidan, 12, and Cooper, 10, Maddie also loves to pamper herself in the girliest of ways. “She loves a big bath with a bath bomb in it,” Kami said. “We have frequent mommy nights: Mommy and Maddie watching a movie with facial masks and a snack.”

Kami said Maddie likes to dress sporty for school but enjoys glamming it up for holidays and events. She was a bit nervous for her SPLURGE! photo shoot, but Kami said the promise of a post-session snack from the convenience store was all it took for the jitters to fade and the smiles to emerge.

A student at Wheatland Elementary, Kami said Maddie is loving everything about kindergarten this year. Her teachers say she’s a good communicator and is very social. “She speaks her mind well,” Kami said. “She’s very much a straight shooter and stands her ground. She isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.”

Art is a favorite pastime, and Maddie enjoys painting animals and friends, and making pictures for her grandparents. “She’s always working on her next masterpiece,” Kami said.

Runner-Up, Dash Campos

This year’s runner-up in the SPLURGE! Our Cover, Your Kid contest hopes this is just the beginning of seeing his name in print: Dash Campos of Wichita wants to be a writer and, at age 7, is already working to get a book published.

“He’s kind of an old soul,” said mom Nicole Campos. “He carries a book around everywhere. He likes to go to Barnes & Noble and look for hours at all the books. We say he’s a little old man.”

Our judges loved Dash’s scholarly look so much, they knew he had a spot in the winner’s circle. With his sharp sports jacket, red bow tie and sleek businessman cut, Dash already looks like he belongs on the inside of a book jacket — which might be coming sooner than later considering he wrote a book that his grandma is helping to get published.

Parents Nicole and Mark Campos own the Bling Glamour chain of clothing stores, and Nicole said Dash definitely shares in the family’s entrepreneurial spirit. “He makes comic books, and he wants a copy machine for Christmas so he can mass produce and sell them,” she said. “But he also knows the value of giving, and that makes me really proud of him, that as a little person he already has a calling to give back. We support House of Hope, an orphanage in Guatemala, and he’s very interested in and familiar with that.”

Dash is the grandson of Dee and Thane Hedges of Wichita, Gerardo Campos of Leoti and Jim Boyer of Scott City. Dash also has a 4-year-old brother and pal, Krue.

A first-grader at Trinity Academy, Dash loves math, reading and science the most, and is a sponge for new information, Nicole said. Trivial Pursuit is a favorite family activity for game nights. Another favorite pastime is reading the newspaper, especially to hunt for estate sales. “Every weekend he looks in the newspaper,” Nicole said, “and goes estate sale shopping with his grandpa."

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