TOPEKA – At a news conference Wednesday in Topeka, Richard Smalley, marketing manager of the Kansas Department of Commerce, Travel and Tourism Division, announced the winners of the Yellow Brick Road Trip Sweepstakes. Carolyn Aviles of Colwich, Richard Castleberry of Inman, Amie Linenberger of Great Bend, and Charles Mohney of Meriden won prize packages from Coleman, Bushnell, the Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association, BikeSource, AAA Allied Group and Dillons.
The Travel and Tourism Division developed the Yellow Brick Road Trip Sweepstakes to encourage Kansans to travel and explore their state. The YellowBrickRoadTrip.com website features itineraries from eight regions of Kansas, highlighting some of the state fs most interesting destinations and attractions. Kansans completed an online submission form and the winners f names were drawn at random.
"Thrilled ... ecstatic ... excited ... speechless. All words that describe how I felt when I received the phone call telling me I was a winner in the Yellow Brick Road Trip drawing, " said Aviles.
"Born and raised in Kansas, I also identified with Dorothy in the story of The Wizard of Oz. I, too, was intrigued with places outside of Kansas and longed to travel the world. And while I have enjoyed visiting many exotic and wonderful places, I also have learned there is no place like home.
• Aviles won "The Bushnell Outdoor Encounter" prize package, which includes a Bushnell GPS Navsystem ONIX 400 with Satellite Photo Navigation and Live XM Weather, Bushnell Accessory Pack, Bushnell downloadable credits, Bushnell Excursion EX Binoculars and $100 gas card.
• Castleberry, winner of the "Kansas Bed and Breakfast Experience" prize package, received a $100 Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association gift card, four-piece Fair Twist Plus luggage set, $100 gas gift card and a Simply Kansas gift basket.
• Linenberger won the "Coleman Camping" prize, featuring a six-eight-person tent, two queen-size airbeds with pump, four sleeping bags and chairs, a 54-quart cooler, stove, lantern and $100 gas card from Dillons.
• Mohney won the "Tour de Kansas" package, with a 2010 Specialized Carmel hybrid bike from BikeSource, and a bike helmet.
The Kansas Travel & Tourism Division is charged with encouraging the traveling public to visit and travel within Kansas and to generate and facilitate tourism and travel-related spending throughout the state by promoting recreational, historic and natural attractions. A recently released IHS Global Insight study shows in 2009 Kansas tourism had a $5.46 billion impact on the state fs economy and accounted for 148,945 Kansas jobs, making tourism the third largest industry in Kansas.
For more information, visit TravelKS.com.