The springtime confectionary staples known as Peeps may be best known for their charming look and, during Peeps contest season, diorama-making properties, but they have another great use: giving back to the community.
The winner of The Seattle Times and Bartell Drugs’ 11th annual Peeps contest, Gretchen Crossley, plans to do just that by donating her $500 Grand Prize to help Oso mudslide victims.
“I just am devastated reading about it,” she said. “I would like to encourage other people to (donate). Help the peeps.”
A children’s art teacher from Redmond, Crossley said she originally hoped to enter the Peeps contest with her daughter, with whom she first participated years ago. When that plan didn’t work out, she decided to go through with it alone for the love of art.
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“I’m always telling the kids, ‘Every moment is an opportunity to be creative,’ ” Crossley said. “I’m a big proponent of arts education … and so I thought I was going to practice what I preach.”
The kids’ division Grand Prize winner is Sylvia Kern, 11, who conceived the idea for “Mudbunny” when she saw Seattle grunge-rock band Mudhoney atop the Space Needle last summer.
Others among the 200-plus entries ranged from “Vladimir Peepin” to “Despicable Peeps,” from Peeps in selfies to Peeps in sausage links.
With so many standout marshmallow masterpieces competing for just a few winning spots, the judging process was no easy task. Nevertheless, a final decision has been made to reward the most creative, meticulous and resourceful with hundreds of dollars worth of Bartell Drugs and restaurant gift cards as well as bragging rights for the 2014 season:
• Adult Grand Prize ($500): “Peeps 101” by Gretchen Crossley
• Adult First Place ($300): “Seattle Peephawks Trophy” by Debbie Doty and Kerry Smith
• Kids’ Grand Prize ($500): “Mudbunny plays on the Space Needle” by Sylvia Kern
• Kids’ First Place ($300): “Marilyn Peeproe” by Harper Meyerson
Honorable mention ($75 each) goes to:
• Hawks Mania: “Peepmode” by G. Corrigan
• TV & Movies: “Dr. Who 50th Anniversapeep” by Suscha and Ilah Walker
• Historical Events: “Ancient Egyptian Peeps” by Wendy Lawrence, Cathy Watson and Kathleen Pate
• Seattle Special: “Seattle Peeps Wall” by Avery Anderson
And finally, the “Peeple’s Choice,” selected through online voting ($100 each):
• Adult division: “Little Peep of Horrors” by Marta Olson and members of the backstage crew of “Little Shop of Horrors”
• Kids’ division (tie): “Desolation of Peeps” by Graham Griswold, and “Peepajawea and the Expedition of Merripeeper Lewis and Williapeep Clark” by Cicely Griswold
Congratulations to all winners, and thank you to everyone who participated! See you Peeps next year.
Shirley Qiu: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @callmeshirleyq