HONOLULU, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, Hawaii residents are invited to vote for their favorite design that best represents the unique culture of the Aloha State in Alaska Airlines' "Paint the Plane" contest. The public can visit www.alaskaair.com/hawaii until Dec. 18 to cast their vote, which will help Alaska Airlines determine the winner of the statewide contest.
A panel of 10 judges representing Hawaii's government, community, arts, education and tourism leaders selected the three top designs from more than 2,700 submissions in the statewide contest sponsored by the airline, Hawaii State Department of Education and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.
"Evaluating so many stunning designs proved to be a very difficult challenge for our judging panel," said Mark Bocchi, Alaska Airlines' managing director of sales and community marketing. "Ultimately, our panel of judges determined that these three designs best represent the 'Spirit of the Islands.' We're eager to get the public's input as we decide on the final design that will be painted on a 737 jet."
The top three designs were submitted by Sophia Cleek, a sixth grader at Kapolei Middle School on the Island of Oahu; Izabela Hamilton, a 12th grader at Seabury Hall on the Island of Maui; and Aaron Nee, an 11th grader at Kaiser High School, also on the Island of Oahu. Sophia's design depicts a voyaging canoe sailing around the Islands, among various ocean wildlife. Izabela's design incorporates a male and female hula dancer against a backdrop of ocean waves and windswept mountain cliffs. Aaron's design displays a voyaging canoe, the hibiscus (the state's flower) and the Hawaiian Island chain, with the phrase, "Spirit of the Islands" prominently shown.
Many of the designs submitted by Hawaii students in kindergarten through 12th grade proudly featured the Islands' natural beauty, ocean and wildlife, and popular local activities such as surfing and canoe paddling, Bocchi said. Other designs boasted Hawaii's unique geography and many designs depicted King Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810.
The winner of the contest and honorable mentions will be announced on Jan. 10, 2013. Alaska Airlines will unveil the "Spirit of the Islands" plane at a public event in the spring of 2013. The contest was open to students from public, private and home schools across the state.
"We look forward to voting for our favorite designs in the 'Spirit of the Islands' contest," said Fenny Csaszar, Parent Teacher Association treasurer of Iroquois Point Elementary School, which is located beneath one of the flight paths for Honolulu International Airport. "Students and faculty enjoy watching all types of planes flying over the school every day, so we've had fun promoting the contest to our students. To add to the excitement, we've already judged our students' entries and selected nine winning artists who will be honored at a lunch with our principal."
The student with the winning submission will get his or her design painted on an Alaska Airlines aircraft, a trip for four to any of the carrier's destinations and a $5,000 scholarship. Second- and third-place winners will receive a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination, and 12 honorable mentions will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship each.
Voting is restricted to Hawaii residents and each household is allowed to cast one vote each day until 11:59 p.m. Hawaii time on Dec. 18, 2012.
Editor's note: High-resolution images of the three finalist designs are available for download at www.alaskaair.com/hawaii.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
SOURCE Alaska Airlines