In a matter of hours after posting the contest online, the Daily Light received more than 80 entries for its snowman photo contest.

“It was very difficult to judge,” said Ray Pike, WNI vice president and publisher, who along with his wife Lynn judged the contest.

Pike created the contest following the record-setting snowfall, with Ellis County received more than 12 inches of snow during Thursday’s winter storm.

“We knew that a lot of kids would be out building a snowman and thought it might be fun to have our readers send in their photos,” Pike said.

The contest was posted on the Daily Light’s online edition, and the entries began arriving immediately after the posting.

“The response was incredible,” Pike said. “It made it very difficult for Lynn and I to pick a winner. There were so many great entries it was tough to decide.

“From our list of finalists, we picked the Salas family picture,” Pike said.

“We loved the fact the family was in the photo. When you think of building a snowman, it conjures up images of the family outside together. We also liked the dog in the photo and the fact it was still snowing when the photo was taken. The topper was the uniqueness of the snowman. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever seen the use of horseshoes in the construction of a snowman. It’s just a great family snowman photo,” Pike said.

Photos of all entries received by the deadline (photos were still coming in late Saturday afternoon) are published on Pages 1C-5C of today’s edition.

“We had a lot of fun doing the contest and by the looks of the photos, it appears our readers did as well,” Pike said. “It gives us some ideas for future projects down the road.”