PORT TOWNSEND — The Chamber of Jefferson County and JeffcoCARES have extended their creative face mask “Maskies Awards” competition through July 17.
The competition is open to anyone living or working in Jefferson County, and winners have a chance of winning gift cards to local businesses, a trophy and bragging rights, said Arlene Alen, chamber executive director.
So far, the competition has received more than 10 entries, and Alen expects at least a few more.
“I don’t expect we’ll have a thousand entries into this contest, but I’m hoping that the images of people being creative and wearing masks will inspire people to, if not enter themselves, at least feel good about people helping people and wanting to get engaged with that,” Alen said.
The mask competition was inspired by conversations during the chamber’s weekly “Chamber Cafe” discussions and with officials with the Wearable Art Show and Jefferson Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls after county Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke issued a directive that all should wear face masks.
It is a way to help people see wearing masks as a positive thing to do, Alen said.
Before Gov. Jay Inslee approved the masking directive for the state as a whole — but after Locke implemented a masking directive for Jefferson County — there was a lot of pushback against wearing masks, she said.
The JeffcoCARES team and chamber officials thought that emulating what the Wearable Art Show had done with creative masking could allow wearing face coverings to be seen in a positive light, she added.
“The more we talked about it, the more people got excited,” Alen said.
“We thought, ‘Let’s see if we can help make wearing masks more fun.’ And now the governor has put out his directive, so you have to wear one, but it may as well be fun.”
Weekly winners will be chosen starting next week until the June 17 deadline.
The overall winner will get a trophy and “massive bragging rights,” Alen said.
“We’re hoping this will be the only ever Maskie Awards, that we will never have to do this again,” she said.
“You could be the only ever, in the history of the town, winner of this prize.”
Those who want to participate can send a JPEG selfie image wearing their most creative mask design to [email protected].
Multiple images may be submitted so long as they are for different masks, and the photos may be shared on social media, Alen said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-385-2335, ext. 5.