WILLIAMSON COUNTY - The Friends of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge are pleased to announce the winners of this year's photography contest.
Marion's Valerie Freiboth, with a night photo of the iconic landscape of the "Garden of the Gods," took both the Best of Show and Refuge Staff Choice awards.
In the youth category, first place went to 6-year-old Drake Penrod of Jonesboro for "Amber Waves."
The Refuge Staff Choice went to Olivia Drew of Benton for "Reflections."
Each winner gets a ribbon for first, second, and third places, as well as a cash prize. With 182 entries, the competition was challenging. Winners in each of the categories included:
Honorable Mention--Ty Robinson for "Sitting on the Dock of the Lake" and Olivia Drew for "Red
3rd place-- Makayla Miller for "Under the Canopy"
2nd place--Hannah Bender for "Strike a Pose"
1st place--Drake Penrod of Jonesboro, for "Amber Waves"
Refuge staff choice--Olivia Drew of Benton for "Reflections"
Taken on the Refuge
Honorable Mention--Valerie Freiboth of Marion for "Pablo and Pedro"
3rd place--Valerie Freiboth for "Help Meeee!"
2nd place--Jan Uhls for "Cold Turkey"
1st place--Jon Montgomery of Du Quoin for "Springtime Courtship"
Honorable Mention--Jon Montgomery for "Common Milkweed"
3rd place--Debbie Bradley for "Icy Sunbursts"
2nd place--Bob Erxleben for "Catching the Rain"
1st place--Dwayne Sheumaker of Carterville for "Passion Flower with Insect"
Honorable Mention--Doren Kirk for "Sunset"
3rd place--Dwayne Sheumaker for "Lace Silhouette"
2nd place--Jay Zimmerman for "Side of the Road with the Moon"
1st place--Bob Erxleben of Salem for "After the Rain"
Honorable Mention--Jon Montgomery for "Windy Morning Gosling" and Darlene DuFay for "Sheer
3rd Place--Darlene DuFay for "Dewy Morning"
2nd Place--Ron Clark for "Honey, I'm Home"
1st Place--Clay Guthrie of East Prairie, Missouri for "Mouthful"
Refuge Staff Choice--Valerie Freiboth for "Garden of the Gods"
Best of Show--Valerie Freiboth for "Garden of the Gods"
This year's contest is sponsored by the Friends of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Crab
Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and the youth prizes are sponsored by Youth Outdoor
Education Foundation. Winning photographs will be on display at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center until the end of November.