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Posted by Candice Rennels on 04/16/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                      April 16, 2014

CONTACTS:  Candice Rennels: (405) 425-0298, office; (405) 412-6172, cell; or [email protected]

                     Carrie Allen: (405) 425-0292, office; or [email protected]




       The Oklahoma City Zoo and Dr Pepper are excited to announce the winners of the 2014 Dr Pepper Vending Machine Art Contest. Oklahoma students in kindergarten through twelfth grade could enter the contest from February 24 through March 31 for a chance to win Visa® gift cards courtesy of First Security Bank, art supplies from Porch School & Art Supply, and have their design featured on a Dr Pepper machine at the Zoo. The Zoo received almost 1,500 entries from students in 84 schools and home schools across 44 different Oklahoma towns/cities. Entries were judged based on creativity and relevance to the contest’s theme, “Celebrate all things zoo–animals, nature and conservation!”

       This year’s contest also celebrated its 10th anniversary, coinciding with the Zoo’s 110th birthday. Students were free to share in the excitement of these momentous occasions by illustrating what they love about the Zoo. The contest helps the Zoo share its message of conservation and the importance of protecting local and global ecosystems and the animals that live there.


2014 Winners:

  • Grand Prize (K-5):  Brayden George, Stilwell, Maryetta Elementary, Samilou Smith’s class.
  • Grand Prize (6-12):  Timberlyn Gruenwald, Pawnee, Cleveland High School, Matt Solomon’s class.

Both Grand Prize recipients will receive a $300 Visa® gift card, a gift basket from Porch School & Art Supply and a certificate. Their winning artwork will be the cover design on a Dr Pepper vending machine located on Zoo grounds.


  • First Place: Alyssa Brewer, Guthrie, Guthrie High School, Lindsey Baker’s class.

Alyssa will receive a $100 Visa® gift card and a certificate.


  • AZA Choice Award: Tyla Bohannon, Kingston, Kingston Middle School, Cathy Little’s class.

Aubrey will receive a $50 Visa® gift card and a certificate.


  • Zoo Director’s Top Honor Roll Awards:
    • Palm Oil Champion: Hallie Swearingen, Kingston, Kingston Middle School, Cathy Little’s class.
    • Conservation Caretaker:  Leah LaForge, Edmond, Deer Creek Intermediate School, Mrs. Gull’s class.
    • Top Trunk Award: Cameron Hall, Blanchard, Wayland Bonds Elementary, Lori McDonald’s class.
    • Nature Navigator Award: Natalie Gonzales, Choctaw, Choctaw Middle School, Lea Stone’s class.
    • Zoo Birthday Badge: Hannah Nimmo, Walters, Chattanooga Elementary, Kay Nimmo’s class.
    • Seal of Approval Award: Haley Sandell, Oklahoma City, St. Eugene Catholic School, Kara Whitmire’s class.
    • Koi Kudos:  Janna Carter, Oklahoma City, Millwood High School, Ms. Sterling’s class.
    • Red Panda Prize: Adrian Soria, Oklahoma City, Buchanan Elementary, Ms. Adam’s class.
    • Wonders of Wildlife: Mecalie Poling, Edmond, Guthrie High School, Lindsey Baker’s class.
    • Macaw Medal: Hannah Johnson, Edmond, Deer Creek Intermediate School, Mrs. Gull’s class.

All Honor Roll recipients will receive a $25 Visa® gift card and a certificate.


       The Zoo will unveil all the winning designs including the two Grand Prize Dr Pepper vending machine fronts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, during the Zoo’s Party for the Planet celebration in the Global Plaza.


       We’re wild about art and conservation at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children 3-11, and $5 for seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Become a Zoo fan at or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit our mobile site at



Editor’s note: Photos of each winner with their artwork will be available through the Zoo’s PR Department after April 27.


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The Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. AZA accredited facilities are dedicated to providing excellent care for their plants and animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things.

A New Breath of Fresh Air: As of Nov. 1, 2007, state law prohibits smoking inside zoological parks. Please help us abide by this law by refraining from smoking within the Zoo. Thank you for maintaining a smoke-free environment for all living things!