The Roger Horton Prius Hypermileage Challenge was held Saturday as a fundraiser for the Clean/Green Energy Fund, a program of The Fund for Santa Barbara that supports churches and nonprofits in their search for energy-efficient technology and practices.

The event brings Prius owners together to test their energy savings capabilities by participating in a two-week challenge to achieve the best MPG for their hybrid automobiles.

On Saturday, all registered participants received instructive tips on how to improve their gas mileage at Toyota of Santa Barbara in Goleta. Immediately after, of the 23 drivers who registered, seven opted to participate in a “Challenge” Drive to Buellton, practicing their newly acquired driving skills.

“Recycled” trophies that were purchased at thrift stores and repurposed for the Challenge, were given to the three drivers with the best mileage:

» First place — Mary Ann Foley, 2005 Prius, 55.2 miles per gallon

» Second place — Colin Jones, 2005 Prius, 50.9 MPG

» Third place — Don Bushnell, 2009 Prius, 47.8 MPG

The rest of the drivers have opted to submit their results at the Earth Day Celebration on April 16 after a “challenge” of two weeks of normal city driving. Awards for the longer-term challenge drive will be presented on April 17.

— Marjorie Wass is a publicist.