Seilaff & Harrison Win “Best Of Mint Hill” Photo Contest

Paige McKinney, Sandy Harrison, Anna Granger, Jude Seilaff, Natalie Seilaff
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MINT HILL, NC – At the July Chamber of Commerce member luncheon, Executive Director Paige McKinney revealed the winners of the 2021 Best of Mint Hill Photo Contest.

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by 1st Choice Properties, the annual Best of Mint Hill Photo Contest seeks out photos of events, people, landscapes, sunsets, nature, and other subjects that represent the “best” of our hometown.  Participants are encouraged to capture annual events like the Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic, Mint Hill Madness, the Pop Up Christmas Shop, as well as events that highlight our local schools and Mint Hill’s landmarks.

In the Fall of 2021, the Chamber received hundreds of entries from both amateur and professional photographers.  Those photos were evaluated and judged by a committee composed of Chamber members composed of McKinney, Denise Boston (Chick-fil-A Mint Hill & Albemarle Road), Anna Granger (1st Choice Properties), and Melissa Fields (First National Bank).  The committee carefully evaluated each submittion, asking questions like, “Is it inspiring?” and “Does it represent what we want Mint Hill to be?”

At the monthly member luncheon on July 19, the Chamber honored both the winner and runner up.  Second place went to Sandy Harrison for a photo she snapped of her neighboring vendor at the Mint Hill Farmer’s Market.  The colorful photo depicts a woman in a hat selling flowers.  “I thought it represented the ‘Best of Mint Hill’ because she’s one of the many committed local artisans that represents the community of hard-working creatives,” explained Sandy.  “It was an honor and surprise to be awarded second place.”

First place went to the Seilaff family for a photo taken at Mint Hill Madness.  Natalie explains that her husband Tim took the photo of their son Jude watching the fireworks from inside their minivan.  “Mint Hill is all about family,” says Natalie when asked how her photo represents our town’s “best.”  “I grew up here going to Mint Hill Madness.  How cool is it for my kids now to experience some of the same traditions?”  

Natalie and Jude were “super excited” to accept the award at the July Chamber luncheon, although they were bummed that Tim’s work schedule prohibited him from joining the fun.  “Jude’s face was priceless!” says Natalie.  “We were told to come because the photo was a finalist.  We had no idea!  And we certainly didn’t know there were prizes.  I hate that Tim couldn’t be there since he actually captured the moment.”

The Seilaffs received a cash prize of $250 for their win courtesy of sponsor 1st Choice Properties, and Harrison received a cash prize of $100.  Both photos, as well as honorable mentions by Doug Harrison and Emory Thompson, will be featured on the Chamber’s website and displayed throughout the Chamber’s offices.

The Best of Mint Hill Photo Contest is held annually, and anyone can enter (participants under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian’s signature)!  Watch the Chamber’s website and social media for news on how to enter the 2022 photo contest, and make sure to have your cameras ready as we move into the fall!

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: