Winning isn’t everything, but it is nice from time to time.
1. Last week I got a call, and yesterday I got the letter.
Dear Valued Gelson’s Customer,
Per our telephone conversation last week, it is with pleasure to notify you are a winner from a recent enter to win contest at Gelson’s Markets for A Snow Valley Getaway. (sic)
The prize awarded to you is lift tickets for two (2) to Snow Valley in Running Springs, CA and a case of vitaminwater and vitaminwater winterapparel. (more sic and emphasis theirs) ARV: $225 (Actual retail value may vary depending on price of vitaminwater and rate changes for accommodations, equipment rental and lift tickets. An difference between stated approximate retail value and actual value of prize will not be awarded.)
To claim your prize, simply fill out the attached Affidavit of Eligibility/Publicity Release, which must be notarized. (emphasis mine)
The good news is that the lift tickets are good through 2009, and The Scout loves to ski.
There’s a gob of legalese on the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release. I have to swear that I will never sue hold harmless Gelson’s Markets, Arden Group Inc. (no idea who they are), Energy Brands, Glaceau, Vitaminwater, Snow Valley, and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, blah blah blah against any liability, claims. losses and damages arising out of my participation in the Promotion or any Promotion-related activities and the acceptance, use, misuse or possession of any prize received in connection with this promotion.
Basically, this is one of those “prizes” that will end up costing money. Once I factor in the gas, ski rental, etc. it’ll add up. Also, Running Springs is a bit far for a day trip. The ideal is to go up the night before, ski all day, spend that night on the mountain, and then go home. That way you’re not driving at all on the ski day. Note how the ideal costs the most.
2. Remember how I got an e-mail from Ann Lau of the Visual Artists Guild telling me that I won the “Turn Your Back” photo contest? Actually, I came in second. But guess what? They sent me a check for $500!
Here’s a bit from the letter:
As you know, the Visual Artists Guild is dedicated to promoting human rights internationally. We have been greatly encouraged by all of the support we have received from community leaders and residents of California to oppose the propaganda tool that Beijing is using in the great City of Pasadena through the use of a parade float to kick off the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Beijing has broken its promise to improve human rights in China that it made before receiving the bid to host the 2008 Olympics.
Enclosed please find a check for $500.00.
We wish you the very best and encourage you to continue to promote respect for human rights.
Frankly, this is humbling. I really appreciate how the VAG (gotta love that acronym) went to Pasadena City Council meetings week after week to protest the float. They brought much-needed attention to an important issue. Fellow bloggers, I’m sure you are glad you can blog freely without ending up in prison like Hu Jia (Chinese Blogger Sentenced to Three Years for Subversion, Libel).
Anyway, here’s the photo if you missed it.