Michael Hinton of Great Bend, recently announced winner of the July Fourth button design contest, remembers coming to Peabody as a child for July Fourth celebrations.
“That was a big deal when I was little,” the Newton native said. “Winning the design competition was a nice connection for me.”
Michael is married to Tonya Jury, a 1986 graduate of Peabody High School and herself a veteran herself of Peabody July Fourth celebrations.
“We were in town for the celebration last year,” Tonya said. “It was our first time back in 20 years, and we enjoyed it so much. Peabody is special to us.”
The Hintons have lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. A trip back to Peabody for Independence Day did not fit into their schedule for many years.
“When I saw the contest announcement in the paper, I showed it to Michael and encouraged him to enter,” she said. “He loves designing visual pieces. He has worked in advertising and marketing for 30 years.”
Michael created four designs for submission to the committee, which chose an image of a family sitting together watching fireworks.
“My in-laws are still here and we come back to see them,” he said. “And we like it here. Designing the buttons was a chance to give something back. I love the small town feeling of the celebration. I hope it all goes well and everyone has as good a time as we did last year.”
Michael donated his prize to Peabody Senior Center. He said he probably will enter the contest again.
“Actually, I might be ahead of the game since I submitted those other designs,” he said with a laugh. “I could be good to go for the next three years.”
Admission buttons are available from local merchants for $3.