I consider myself a pretty good gift wrapper, but these eight put me to shame. Earlier this month as part of Scotch Tape’s National Gift Wrapping Contest, they competed in three rounds. In the first round they had to wrap a small castle and a box; the second, a child’s go-kart; and the third, a 2-person 5′ paddle boat.
Taking top honors — and a $10,000 check — was Patricia Zapata from Kingwood, Texas, shown here wrapping the winning paddle boat.
Melinda Cantor, owner of Only You Gifts, Islip, New York, won 2nd place and $2,500; the other contestants won smaller cash prizes. With the pressure of the cameras and the roaring crowd, technique, creativity and speed were the factors in the judging. “It’s very challenging to wrap neatly when the crowd is screaming WRAP THAT GIFT!” she commented. “My customers at the store are usually patient and quiet, the pressure was definitely on!”
Cantor will donate $500 of her winnings to the NY/LI ALS chapter in honor of her mother. This Sunday, Melinda will be on “Today” in New York, NBC, to demonstrate some gift wrapping ideas, and then will judge Pat and Gus in a “wrap off.” At noon, she will hold a gift wrapping fundraiser at her store – located at 549 Main Street, Islip — for ALS. All are welcome to bring their gifts to be wrapped for a donation to ALS.