January 2008 Hot Button Winners

Congrats to our
January Hot Button of the Month Winner!

It was a hard decision, but the results are in! Our very first Hot Button of the Month Contest Winner is….(drum roll)…Gary Bremen from Biscayne National Park in Homestead, Florida. Gary submitted a sampling of several buttons that have been used at Biscayne National Park's monthly Family Fun Fest. The staff uses the buttons to rewards kids (and others!) who complete all five hands-on activity stations at the monthly event. Each program features educational activities (games, crafts, science experiments, etc.) that focus on a particular aspect of the park's resources, often with crazy themes that make even mundane topics come alive. Past topics have included titles such as "Reef Rally" and "Hurricanes: More Than Meets the Eye."

"The buttons are an absolute requirement for Family Fun Fest," Gary says. "Each month's button is unique and incorporates some aspect of the event itself, often an aspect that only ‘insiders' (participants) will recognize."

Kids who attend all 5 Family Fun Fest events in a season, and can prove it with their buttons, earn an additional award and an additional button: the much-coveted Family Fun Fest Fanatic award! According to Gary, several kids have been coming to the event for years, and proudly wear ALL their buttons on their hats or vests.

What a great way to promote your organization - and to reward participants!

To reward Gary for rewarding others, he will receive a $100 gift certificate to Badge-A-Minit.com.

You can view a sampling of Family Fun Fest buttons below.

Many entries came in for our first Hot Button contest and while we had planned to limit our Hot Buttons to two a month, we just couldn't do it! There were way too many wonderful ideas and/or designs. So we narrowed it down as best we could and the following buttons earned the honor of being Hot Buttons for January 2008! (Winners also received a coupon for 10% off their next purchase at Badge-A-Minit.com.)

Virginia Tech Tribute
Marc Loftus of Custom Buttons in Lynbrook, NY, created the Virginia Tech Tribute Button to help raise funds for the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech in April 2007. He sold the buttons online and dated all proceeds to "The Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund," a fund set up by the school. When he presented the school with the check from his efforts, he was rewarded with an opportunity to attend one of their sporting events. Now we've also rewarded him for his efforts!
Hornet Pride
Monica Powell of moniPIX Photography in Elora, TX, designed "Hornet Pride" to promote awareness of and celebrate Huntland School's centennial. The button had solid sales, and many proud parents and alumni wore it proudly during the Homecoming Parade, pep rally, football game and half-time celebration. The button makes a wonderful keepsake, too!
Pug Love
June Moss of Wilmington, NC, has a neighbor with two pug dogs, so she designed "Pug Love" as a gift for her. June is just starting her button-making business and uses this button as a sample design. She's had a positive response to the button and would "love to find more people who will buy them."
Lunch Bunch
Ellen Zissis from Chartiers Valley Primary School in Bridgeville, PA, submitted the "Lunch Bunch" button idea. Each teacher at the school chooses one worthy student each month to participate in the Lunch Bunch. Winning kids get to eat lunch with the school administration and teachers - and they each get a Lunch Bunch button to wear that day. The program promotes self-esteem and good behavior - it's an honor to be chosen for the Lunch Bunch! The buttons also serve very practical purposes: students wearing the buttons get to go to the front of the lunch line, and teachers can see at a glance who will be eating with them. Ellen notes that the program works like a charm month after month. In fact, one time they ran out of buttons and the kids that didn't get them cried! That goes to show you how much everyone loves buttons!!
Junior Deputy Sheriff
Ray Sanchez from the Sheriff Div. Keiki ID Program (kid's ID program)in Honolulu, HI, used these Junior Deputy Sheriff buttons as a free give-away to kids who stopped by his booth at a local fair to get a Keiki ID. The buttons attracted kids to the booth, helping the department to provide many IDs.
Super Second Grader
Debbie Linton from Westminster, MD, wanted a unique way to celebrate her son's birthday with his second-grade class - no food or pencils for her! So Debbie made her son an "It's My Birthday" button and made each child in the class his or her own "Super Second-Grader" button. When she found out that another student shared the same birth date, Debbie made her the "special" birthday button, too. The whole class wore their buttons for the day - and many parents have added the buttons to their child's keepsake box. A no-calorie birthday treat that's made to last!
Band/Cruise Promotion
Sarah Christine Worton from ADKTD in Georgia made a button that does double duty: it provides a list of the bands scheduled to perform on a cruise AND it serves as a cruise memento. Sarah has designed buttons for two different cruises and many people have ordered them for a keepsake of their vacation. She notes that the buttons can be individualized with each person's name and/or other info.
Jay T Williams of Minneapolis, MN, uses buttons to promote the rock band "Kwang." His buttons represent the fun-loving character of the group with a spoof of "It's a Hard Rock Life" from Annie. At a recent show, buttons helped build excitement. According to Jay T, "we flew through our 150 hand-made buttons in minutes. They were the hit of the show. And now you can see Kwang buttons all over Minneapolis." Rock on, Kwang!
Children's Trip ID
E'dee Batista from New York, NY, designed a button to help keep track of students when they went on field trips. Prior to the buttons, teachers were using labels for the same purpose, but they weren't as reliable and often fell off.