Winning stayed in the family in the Hood River News’ subscription campaign that wrapped up March 15.
Shelby Vanek won the $600 top prize in the annual three-week newspaper campaign, earning 266,000 votes. Her older sister, Stephanie, won the contest in 2002, and this year the whole family helped Shelby, a sixth grader at Wy’east Middle School.
But the race was tight, and went right down to Saturday’s finish, according to Ray Edwards, campaign coordinator.
Joel Winters was second with 259,000 votes, edging Greg Swafford with 258,000. They won $500 and $400 prizes, respectively.
Kirsten Lane was fourth, earning 202,000 votes and $350. Ryan Sieverkropp was fifth with 125,00 votes, for a $300 prize. All 46 participants earned a percentage for every new subscription or renewal they sold.
“We had a lot of new recruits and everyone worked really hard,” Edwards said. “We gained a lot of new subscribers and it worked out really well.”
For Shelby Vanek, winning came down to hard work and cooperation. Her mother, Cindy Vanek, said Shelby was out of town for a weekend and sick for four days during the campaign, so the whole family including grandparents helped out.
“I worked really hard. And it was fun,” Shelby said. “We made a lot of phone calls. My parents took me everywhere, and my sister helped a lot.”
Shelby said she will use her winnings to buy goats and pigs to raise as part of her 4-H club, Valley Varmints.
“And I’ll save the rest,” she said.