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Lancaster Woman Wins $500,000 to Build Dream Dog Park

FitnessEric Stonestreet

Update: Today, the dog-loving community of Lancaster, Pa., has plenty of reason to play, as local resident Angela Bauman and her German Shorthaired Pointer, Beau, have been named Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest. Bauman wins $10,000 cash and a one-year supply of Beneful brand dog food. In addition, her creative entry for her ultimate play destination will help serve as inspiration for a $500,000 renovation of a dog park in the Lancaster area.

Bauman and Beau, who love their daily adventures at the dog park, entered the third annual Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest this summer, along with hundreds of other dog owners across the country. Their winning entry described an amusement park-themed dog park that had various playful elements, including: a "roller coaster" area with rolling hills and lots of toys; a water park with fun splash pads; and an arena with open spaces for agility and running around

"At Beneful, our mission is to inspire more play every day because playing with your dog makes all the good, simple things in life even better," said Ken Wilhelm, Beneful brand director. "Our Dream Dog Park Contest offers dogs and owners the opportunity to dream up their ultimate play destination that the entire community can enjoy."

The contest consisted of two rounds. In the first round, dog owners were asked to submit a photo showing how life is better together with their four-legged friend and a short essay that answered the question: If you had $500,000 to create a Dream Dog Park where you and your best buddy can play together, what would you do? Entries were reviewed by an outside judging panel and twelve finalists were selected based on the contest judging criteria in the official rules. In the second round, the 12 finalists were asked to create a video up to two minutes in length showing their daily adventure together with their four-legged best buddies at the dog park and how they would make it even better if given the opportunity to inspire a dream dog park.

The finalist entries were judged by the Beneful Dream Team that includes: Eric Stonestreet, dog lover and two-time Emmy Award-winning actor on the hit TV show "Modern Family;" Jason Cameron, licensed contractor and host of DIY's "Desperate Landscapes;" and pet expert Arden Moore. Their judging counted for 80 percent of the final score, and public voting counted for the remaining 20 percent, to determine the Grand Prize Winner.

All entries in both rounds of the contest were judged based on the following criteria: creativity of the idea(s) to inspire more opportunities to play with your dog at your neighborhood dog park (60%), feasibility of bringing the idea to life (20%) and effectively demonstrates how life is better together with your dog (20%).

Beneful will award the $500,000 renovation as an in-kind donation to an existing public or non-profit dog park in the Lancaster area. The park will be selected by the dog food brand. A celebration event at the dog park chosen for the renovation will take place in early 2013 and the newly renovated Dream Dog Park is expected to be unveiled in early summer 2013.

Original Story:

A Lancaster woman is one of 12 finalists in a contest that could win half a million dollars to revamp a local dog park. "Oh my gosh I was so excited! Because you had to write a 250 word essay. I entered over the summer and I kind of forgot about the contest, and then early September they contacted me and we're like you're a finalist," says Angela Bauman. She submitted a video showing her dog Beau at Buchanan Park in Lancaster, which she says is in desperate need of a makeover. "My dog has a ton of energy he needs exercise every single day so we always have to find a different way to exercise him so we started bringing him to the local park but it gets dirty and muddy and wet and stuff," says Bauman.

In the video, she submitted a drawing of her dream dog park which features hills and bridges for dogs to run over and under, a water park for dogs and an indoor arena with an agility course for rainy days.  "In my park I really want to encourage people to play with their dogs you know interact with their dogs in the park, encourage them to run over the bridges and run under the bridges. More to do than just run in a circle and make a mess," says Bauman.

The contest is sponsored by Beneful. The lucky winner will get $500,000 to create a dream dog park. Bauman says it may not end up at Buchanan Park, but will go in Lancaster County.

To watch her video and vote, click here.

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