Wild Bird Centers Of America Awards Winners of The National Wildlife Refuge Association 2008 Youth Photo Contest

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The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) proudly announced the winners of the first annual 2008 Youth Refuge Photo Contest, a digital photo contest showcasing America's national wildlife refuges and the diverse wildlife that depend on them. Wild Bird Centers of America sponsored the contest by donating premier bird feeders to the first- through third- place winners in each age category.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) proudly announced the winners of the first annual 2008 Youth Refuge Photo Contest, a digital photo contest showcasing America's national wildlife refuges and the diverse wildlife that depend on them. Wild Bird Centers of America sponsored the contest by donating premier bird feeders to the first- through third- place winners in each age category.

George Petrides Sr., founder and chairman of Wild Bird Centers of America says his organization shares the NWRA's mission, stating, "We support conservation programs and strive to improve the national wildlife refuge systems, making them more birder-friendly while educating birding enthusiasts to better understand the roles and benefits of our national wildlife refuge system. We are honored to be a part of this contest, particularly since it educates children, the future stewards of our planet, to be more environmentally aware."

Evan Hirsche, President of the NWRA agrees, "More than ever, it is so important to ensure our young people have an opportunity to connect with the outdoors; photography is an excellent way to build kids' appreciation for our national wildlife refuges and the natural world."

The top five prize winners in the Senior Youth Category are Joshua Gahagan of Oakham, MA (First Place); Ian Davies of Medford, MA (Second Place); Zachary Peterson of Ipswich, MA (Third Place); Peter DellaVecchia of North Salem, NY (Fourth Place); and Shane McVeigh of Homer, AK (Fifth Place). The top five prize winners in the Junior Youth Category are Bryan Goslin of Vancouver, WA (First Place); Erin McBride of Fairview, WY (Second Place); Rebecca Bartels of Farwell, NE (Third Place); Warren Smith of Starkville, MS (Fourth Place); and Liam Coddington of Huntsville, AL (Fifth Place). Visit http://www.refugenet.org/contest/2008YouthWinners.html to view all of the winning entries.

In addition to receiving bird feeders from Wild Bird Centers of America, all senior category winners received field guides from Houghton Mifflin and all junior category winners received a giant stuffed manatee and a year's supply of Wild Puffs Cereal from Barbara's Bakery.

"The National Wildlife Refuge Association wishes to express its great appreciation to all photo contest sponsors, including Wild Bird Centers of America, Houghton Mifflin and Barbara's Bakery for providing prizes and would like to recognize Zenfolio for hosting the contest on its website, http://www.zenfolio.com. The NWRA also thanks the photo contest judges who contributed their time and expertise to selecting the winners. They are Matt Poole, Randy Robinson, and Wil Hershberger."

Established in 1985, Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc. is a specialized franchise system with more than 85 stores nationwide. Each Wild Bird Center retailer is dedicated to helping customers build a better backyard birding experience, by providing the finest, field-tested quality products, old-fashioned customer service from fellow bird enthusiasts, and expert advice. Wild Bird Centers also serve as an active community resource, providing demonstrations, educational workshops and children's programs. For more information, visit the WBCA website at http://www.wildbird.com or call (800) 945-3247, x202.

The National Wildlife Refuge Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, nationwide membership organization. For more information, visit http://www.refugassociation.org.

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Barbara Beck
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