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The Garden Island Newspaper’s first ever subscription contest

On Tuesday, July 9, 1912, The Garden Island newspaper published the results of its first-ever subscription contest.

Miss Etta Lee of Makaweli took first prize — a Ford runabout automobile worth $800 — after totaling 10,785,520 votes.

Second prize winner, Mary Silva of Waimea, received 8,385,520 votes to win a roundtrip to the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island, along with a two week stopover.

In third place was Daisy Sheldon of Lihue with 3,426,010 votes that earned her a solid gold watch.

Meta Reidell with 2,026,310 votes won $50 cash; E. Kalawe won a nickel-trimmed traveling case with 1,264,235 votes; 738,635 votes earned Eva Akana a Kodak camera, and Abbie Haae with 600,230 votes received a library lamp.

Other top vote-getters were Misses Paschich, Teft, Bryant, Padgett, Sato, Akina and Schumacher.

Judging the contest, which was opened on April, 30, 1912 to single ladies only, were H. D. Wishard, C. W. Spitz and W. H. Grote.

Votes were accumulated in three ways.

First, a nomination ballot, which entered a lady into the contest and was sent to “The Garden Island” newspaper’s contest manager, gave her 1,000 votes.

Also, vote coupons filled out by a member of the public for a particular contestant and sent to the contest manager gave the contestant 10 votes.

But, by far, most votes were earned through the efforts of individual contestants selling subscriptions to the newspaper: 6 months, $1.50, 500 votes; 1 year, $2.50,1000 votes; 2 years, $5.00, 10,000 votes; 3 years, $7.50, 20,000 votes; 4 years, $10.00, 40,000 votes; 5 years, $12.50, 100,000 votes, and 10 years, 250,000 votes.

At the close of the contest, Miss Daisy Sheldon wrote a letter to the editor: “I desire to thank The Garden Island for the honest and impartial way in which the contest was conducted from start to finish. I also wish to thank you for the splendid little watch you gave me as third prize.”

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