Portland, January 21st. It was a picture perfect evening for the Friends of Outdoor School to honor top photographers. The Photo of the Year Contest party at the Oregon Historical Society drew an excited crowd. Pictured are: Matt Zaffino, John Waller (co-creator of Photo of the Year), Jennifer Barry (winner in the Portland sponsored by Travel Portland category), Richard Bitonti (finalist with two photos in the top 10), Brian Pasko (finalist), Squid Vicious (94.7 KNRK radio DJ and winner in the Professional category), and Brian Crumrine (co-creator of Photo of the Year). (Photos credit, Brian McLernon)

The winner and recipient of the $500 prize was Chan Kwok Hung, from Hong Kong.

Photo of the Year 2011 was taken by Chan Kwok Hung, Hong Kong, China. It's Titled, "Pray". Location: Gansu Province of China, Tibetan ladies waiting for the Budda festival outside of temple.

Photo of the Year 2011 was taken by Chan Kwok Hung, Hong Kong, China. It's Titled, "Pray". Location: Gansu Province of China, Tibetan ladies waiting for the Budda festival outside of temple.

Photo of the Year is a photo contest for amateur and professional photographers from around the world. A panel of judges narrows thousands of photo entries to the top 100. The top 100 photos are available online for the community to vote for their favorites. Finalists are shown at the gala where the Photo of the Year is chosen by the guests. The finalists can been seen the website. http://photooftheyear.net/page.asp?pageid=1327346592

raffle being drawn, from L to R: Matt Zaffino (KWG Chief Meteorologist and our MC for the evening), Andrea "Coho" Hussey (current Howard Outdoor School Site Supervisor), and Emily "Goose" Lootens (Outdoor School Student Leader)

Matt Zaffino (KWG Chief Meteorologist and MC for the evening), Andrea "Coho" Hussey (current Howard Outdoor School Site Supervisor), and Emily "Goose" Lootens (Outdoor School Student Leader)

 

Volunteers counted the ballots to determine the winners

Volunteers counted the ballots to determine the winners

Photo of the Year is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers and is supported by Uncage the Soul Productions

Photo of the Year is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers and is supported by Uncage the Soul Productions

 

A word from the beneficiary, the MESD Outdoor School Program:

It is no secret that Oregon schools face daunting budget issues, but for a very small investment, Outdoor School can change kids’ lives.  At Outdoor School, kids are inspired by the discovery of nature.  As school budgets shrink, non-mandated programs like Outdoor School are eliminated, but when the community demonstrates their commitment to and passion for Outdoor School through Friends of Outdoor School, school officials take notice.  You, the Friends of Outdoor School, ensure that Outdoor School continues to inspire generations of nature-lovers today and tomorrow.