Local woman competing for cooking ambassador spot and $50,000

Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh of Willimantic, CT sharing her culinary expertise on the Better Connecticut show with Scott Haney and Kara Sundlun. Photo source: screen image from YouTube audition video

As of August 9, Ruth Hartunian Alumbaugh of Willimantic had 2,445 votes for her bid to be named Mrs. Holiday, in a fierce nationwide competition hosted by Taste of Home magazine and sponsored by Reader’s Digest.

She is competing against about 50,000 entrants.

Ruth’s name will be familiar to many HTNP readers since she’s been writing a home-schooling column for us for a few years, and she’s a very active member of the Windham community.

You may have met her as chair of Willimantic’s annual Chocolate Festival, or enjoyed her special menu when she was guest cook at the Willimantic Brew Pub. On that occasion, she raised $3,000 for the children’s library and her menu sold out in two hours.

Ruth also was recently featured on the WFSB-produced Better Connecticut with Scott Haney and Kara Sundlun.

Ruth has a longstanding passion for cooking and has shared her creations in many ways, including hosting holiday dinners in her home for international students and faculty.

Ruth is now hovering between fourth and fifth place in the Mrs. Holiday contest, and has been promoting her candidacy through a 2-minute audition video on YouTube and her Facebook page.

The winner of Mrs. Holiday receives $50,000 (basically, one year’s salary to work for Taste of Home) and makes appearances for Taste of Home magazine. She also will be featured in the magazine for at least 10 holidays.

Ruth also explains, “If I win, I do get to do some of the holiday demonstrations from home here in Connecticut.  I also get to travel to their HQ for other things and the best part of that is that my family and where I grew up is only a half hour away, so the prospect of seeing my family more is a real boon/perk, too!  I would also get paid for my time.  That always helps, right?”

Taste of Home is based in Wisconsin.

Ruth also has a shot at winning one of the other awards which include being chosen to represent one of 10 holidays, and the top vote-getter/popular submission. (The top vote-getter doesn’t automatically win – the winner will be chosen by a panel of experts from among the top 100 vote-getters.)

Ruth Hartunian Alumbaugh hopes to be named Mrs. Holiday by Taste of Home magazine. Her many cooking-related activities includes participating in the Cookies Across America program. Courtesy photo

There are only a few more weeks before the contest ends, and there’s a lot at stake.

Ruth has been a fan of the Taste of Home magazine ever since her mother gave her a subscription and she became a local Field Editor for them 10 years ago.

To vote for Ruth, you have to have a Facebook page because that’s where Taste of Home is tallying its votes, at this link: https://www.facebook.com/tasteofhome/app_308553629224079

You “like” the Taste of Home contest page and then click on Vote Now, which takes you to the page with the entrants’ YouTube videos.  Entrants also have to submit a holiday recipe and Ruth’s is a delicious Burgundy Beef Stew.

To vote for Ruth – as often as every day between now and Sept. 7, 2012 – go her audition video and click the Vote Now button.

You can also promote her by sharing this info on your own Facebook page (when you vote, it posts to your page).

Wouldn’t it be a treat for Willimantic (for Connecticut, for that matter) to be known as the home of Mrs. Holiday?

Posted August 9, 2012

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