New PNW Song Contest plus Photo Winners


Each year, First Fed holds a photo contest to celebrate the beauty of the PNW. This year they are also hosting a new songwriting contest in honor of their 100th anniversary in 2023. Those who are musically inclined can enter their original song for a chance to win the $5000 prize. 

Calling All Songwriters

Through January 31, 2023, songwriters are invited to enter their original compositions into this unique contest. The songs must include a Pacific Northwest or community theme including at least one of the following words or phrases in their lyrics:

  • Cascades | Cascadia
  • Centennial  
  • Community  
  • First Fed  
  • Olympics | Olympic Mountains  
  • Pacific Northwest  
  • Proudly PNW | Proudly Pacific Northwest 
  • Upper Left

“We are so excited to listen to the songs from our talented community,” said Jen Swanson, Director of Community Engagement at First Fed. “The winning song will be an important part of our plans to celebrate our 100 years in the PNW next year.”

Songs must have been written by the entrant who holds exclusive rights to the music and lyrics, however, bands can enter collectively. Visit the contest webpage for full details. 

Photo Contest Winners Announced

Over 2,400 photos were entered into the Proudly PNW photo contest, and the winners have been selected! The winning photos will be featured in First Fed’s 2023 calendar, available for free in early November at First Fed branches. 

The grand prize photo and calendar cover was captured by Elisa Laverty as she and her friend were hiking in the Cascade mountains. Elisa climbed up the rocks for the pose as Chris snapped the winning shot.

“I enlisted my friend Chris to help me find a spot in the Cascades that showcased the beauty of the high county,” recalled Laverty. “We were awe-inspired by the view and captured the photo before continuing on our adventure.”

While the contest was open, people were able to vote for their favorites. With over 800 votes, Mathew Nichols’ photo of a buck enjoying the moonlight on Hurricane Ridge handily won the fan favorite prize.

Fan favorite contest winning photo by Mathew Nichols

The winning photos celebrated more of the PNW than just stunning mountain vistas. Patricia Schulze captured the beauty found on the Kingston-Edmonds ferry crossing in a relatable slice of PNW life. 

“The ferries are a lifeline to the Olympic Peninsula,” said Schulze. “Because I missed the Kingston ferry that day and had to take a later one, I ended up in the right place at the right time to see that spectacular sunset view from the middle of Puget Sound.”

“This ferry sunset image will be featured in July to celebrate our state’s unique flavor of ‘Americana.’ So many of us have a special place in our hearts for this public service provided by Washington State Ferries,” explained Jennifer Bolton, Sr. Director of Marketing at First Fed.

Winning photo and July feature for the 2023 calendar by Patricia Schulze.

Due to the incredible volume of quality entries, an additional 16 photos were selected for a runners-up prize to feature in other materials. Sequim photographer Jim Larison claimed two of these prizes including this colorful moment of Skagit Valley tulips on a rainy Washington day.

“I kept the mud in the foreground to accentuate the rainy day,” recalled Larison. “The rainbow of tulips begged for a matching umbrella as a fun focal point.”

Runner up prize-winning photo by Jim Larison.

“We wanted to recognize more talented photographers with the additional runners-up prizes. Their winning photos will be featured in other places like our branch screens,” noted Bolton. “With so much local talent, we are excited to see what the songwriting contest will bring!”

View the winning calendar photos at Community Calendar
Enter the songwriting contest at Song Writing Contest

First Fed is a member FDIC and equal housing lender.

First Fed, First federal, Zoe Bowen, bank