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Thank you to everyone who participated in the AFI 8th Annual Secret Santa Gift Exchange. 60+ people participated this year and the discussions both here on AFI and on the DrawNames.com site were fun to follow. Many beautiful, creative and unusual gifts crossed the country to our far flung group. 

As promised the person who reported in here on their gift with the best photos and story was to receive a prize. The winner of the prize, jewelry created by Debbie Stillman is Robert Wallis. Robert's Santa was Roxy Lentz.

The judge was Cindy Lerick, former director of the Minneapolis Uptown Art Fair, St. Louis Art Fair and the Sausalito Art Festival. Currently she is the President of Art of Events,LLC. 

The judge's comments:

As I started reading all of the comments, I was "wow," this is just as hard as jurying a show! All great notes and great gifts.
The Thank you comment I kept reading was Robert Wallis's.

I got to experience each part of his gift opening journey. Robert, through his photography, was able to show us the sequence of gifts. His words and photos made me feel like I was there and how much he appreciated the energy, Roxy put into this Secret Santa gift. And Roxy, as the gift giver was so thoughtful in her decisions with each package.

Honorable mention: Leah Vergara. Leah's tribute to Ellen for her thoughtfulness. Loved Leah's words as she explained what the gift meant to her and the memories that came to mind when she opened the gift.

Curious about the winning entry? ... click here to find Robert's post and you'll see why he was the winner.

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Congratulations Robert!  I totally agree with the judge's decision.  Not only did Roxy put so much of her heart in what she gave but the way you let all of us be a part of it was awesome!  It was like we were opening with you.  Please email me your shipping address to me (utbydebbie@yahoo.com) and I will package up your prize and get it in the mail ASAP!

Roxy - you have been so generous in sending people gifts if their Secret Santa didn't come through that I'd like to send YOU something for not only being generous but also cause you were such an awesome Secret Santa.  Can you please email me your mailing address as well?  (utbydebbie@yahoo.com)  I know we are both jewelry artist but if you are like me, we love bling no matter where it came from or who made it!!

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