All the hard work is paying off ... I'm currently tied for first! We are literally dancing around my office.
I got these awesome congrats flowers from Aunt Paula and Uncle Sonny last week:
I never get flowers! What a pleasant surprise.
I will hopefully have a link to the Show Me St. Louis interview for you today or tomorrow.
My old boss wrote a story about me that was posted to our employee intranet today:
Employee’s greeting card design gets national recognition
Creative services team member is top-10 finalist in Hallmark competition
by Patty Johnson
As part of the BJC creative services team, Emily Barklage puts her design skills to work each day, creating brochures, posters, invitations and other materials for several BJC hospitals.
But it’s a project Barklage created in her free time that’s getting some national recognition — and creating quite a stir locally.
Barklage, a BJC employee for 10 years, is one of 10 finalists in the “your (Hallmark) competition,” the first in a series of create-your-own-card contests. She was chosen as one of the 10 finalists in early December. Since then, she’s been featured on KSDK-Channel 5’s "Show Me St. Louis," highlighted on the KSDK Web site and other local sites, and mentioned in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I’m overwhelmed by all the attention this is getting. I’m truly grateful to the community for their support,” Barklage says.
The contest highlights Hallmark’s partnership with (PRODUCT) RED™. Created by U2’s Bono and Bobby Shriver, chairman of DATA, the (RED) campaign seeks to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund, which helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, by partnering with iconic brands to create (PRODUCT)RED-branded products and donating a percentage of each product sold to The Global Fund. (For more, see related story, below.)
The Hallmark contest was based on the theme of “connecting” and (PRODUCT) RED. Entries were then judged — based on representing the theme, creativity and ability to be sent for multiple occasions — by representatives from Hallmark and (RED)TM.
“For years, Hallmark consumers have approached us with incredible ideas for greeting cards, and we love that passion,” says Tara Morrow, Hallmark creative and editorial vice president. “As a company built on creative expression, we wanted to see what might happen if we provided an open-invitation opportunity to our fans to create whatever’s in their hearts. They didn’t disappoint. It’s been inspiring to see the unique, amazing ways they interpreted the (CONNECTING)RED theme.”
Barklage — who created a card featuring a photo of two friends’ daughters with the words "kind(red) spirits” — says the inspiration for her design came easily.
“I started thinking of word plays on the ‘red’ theme, and I thought of ‘kindred,’” Barklage says. “Then I started thinking of images, and I remembered a photo that I took of my friends’ little girls.
“I looked up kindred, which means having the same belief, feeling or attitude — and I thought it was perfect. It depicted the ‘connecting’ theme for me,” Barklage says.
The 10 finalists’ designs are posted on hallmark.com/you, where consumers vote daily for their favorite design through Jan. 10. Barklage’s design has been holding steady in third place.
“I owe a lot of thanks to my parents, friends and my co-workers, who’ve told everyone they know to vote for me,” Barklage says. “All these people I don’t even know have been voting for me every day.”
The entrant with the most votes Jan. 11 will be named the grand-prize winner and will receive $2,250, with Hallmark matching that amount in a contribution to the Global Fund. The winning card will also be sold online for a year.
The 10 finalists each received a box of their cards, as well as $250, with Hallmark matching that amount in a contribution to the Global Fund. In addition, the 10 designs have been made into Hallmark cards available for sale on hallmark.com through February. Like the entire Hallmark (PRODUCT)RED collection, 8 percent of net wholesale sales of these cards will go to the Global Fund.
For more information, or to see Barklage’s greeting card design, visit http://hallmark.com/you.
Patty Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s with all the (red)?
Created by U2’s Bono and Bobby Shriver, chairman of DATA, (RED) seeks to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund, which helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, by partnering with iconic brands to create (PRODUCT)RED-branded products and donating a percentage of each (PRODUCT)RED product sold to The Global Fund.
To date, of the $49.8 million received by the Global Fund from the sale of (RED) products, $30.8 million has flowed directly to Global Fund financed grants in Ghana, Rwanda and Swaziland. In these countries, this money is helping to finance comprehensive national HIV/AIDS programs led by the ministries of health, to provide antiretroviral treatment for children and adults, to assist in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and to provide counseling and testing to reduce the overall risk of HIV transmission.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established in 2002, with the support of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the world's leaders, to dramatically increase resources to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases. Since its creation, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with $8.4 billion invested in 136 countries.
In five years, the fund has achieved substantial results. As of September 2007, Global Fund financing has provided:
* 1.1 million people with treatment for HIV and AIDS
* 9.4 million people with voluntary HIV testing
* 1.2 million orphans with basic care and support
* 2.8 million people with treatment for tuberculosis
* 23 million people with treatment for malaria
* 30 million families with insecticide-treated mosquito nets Source: joinred.com
And thanks everyone, I couldn't have gotten this far without you. I can't wait for Friday! Don't forget to vote today: hallmark.com/you