Austin resident to party with Clifford

Published 10:37 am Friday, February 15, 2013

Austin resident Heather Blume isn’t Emily Elizabeth, but that won’t stop her and about 50 of her friends and family from partying with a big red dog this weekend.

Heather is one of five across the country to win Clifford’s Big Birthday Sweepstakes, an event marking the 50th anniversary of the children’s book character. Heather will enjoy a Clifford-themed party at the YMCA Sunday afternoon.

“Clifford has always been one of my favorite childhood characters,” Heather said. “My friends, family, and I are all looking forward to sharing in the excitement of his big day!”

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The party will include meeting and taking pictures with Clifford, red face painting and playing “Pin the Big Red Ears on Clifford,” among other activities.

While Clifford makes hundreds of appearances at parties and events throughout the year, this was a different approach to visits from the children’s book icon, said Daisy Kline, vice president of marketing for Scholastic Media.

“It gave consumers an opportunity to celebrate in their hometown,” Kline said.

The sweepstakes began back in September, when Scholastic kicked off Clifford’s 50th anniversary celebration, which lasts all school year. In December, the company chose winners and began arranging for the five parties that would happen on or around Valentine’s Day, the birthday of Clifford. Heather and four other children across the country were chosen at random from all those who entered.

“We had over 3,800 entries to the sweepstakes in total,” Kline said.

Though Heather and her family found out in December, they had to keep it quiet until Feb. 14, when Scholastic publicly announced all the winners.

Kline said readers showed an enthusiastic response to Scholastic’s sweepstakes.

“I think people in general have a great affinity toward the Clifford character,” she said.


Locations of the five sweepstakes winners:
—Portland, Ore.
—Debary, Fla.
—Austin, Minn.
—Portsmouth, R.I.
—Oklahoma City, Okla.