Article by Stephanie Loney, The Papers, Inc.
The North Webster Lady Lions Club named Cooper Garden, son of Ben and Jennifer Garden, of Leesburg, and Alexia Cox, daughter of Ryan and Kim Cox, of Lakeville, the 2013 Mermaid Festival Cutie King and Queen last night. The Cutie Pageant started at 7 p.m. and took place in the North Webster Community Center. This year 35 girls and 20 boys competed for each respective crown.
The Cutie Pageant also named three runners up for both Cutie King and Queen. Cutie King runners up, starting with first runner up, included Luke Keim, son of Tim and Paige Keim, Syracuse; Haydenn Mitchell, son of Joshua and Trisha Mitchell, Syracuse; and Ryan Mack, son of Teresa Houser, Syracuse.
Cutie Queen runners up, starting with first runner up, included Ella Beer, daughter of Kevin and Laurie Beer, Nappanee; Emma VanPuffelen, Ryan and Kelli VanPuffelen, Winona Lake; and Lauren Baker, Nick and Kara Baker; Winfield, Ill.
The Lions Club also announced winners for the Cutie Parade. Winners in the walking category, starting with first place, included Carter Grady, son of Matt and Wendy Grady, North Webster; Brownwyn Bonner, daughter of Pete and Kristin Bonner, Leesburg; Everett Guy, son of Benjamin and Elise Guy, North Webster; and Ella Beer, daughter of Kevin and Laurie Beer, Nappanee.
Winners in the hand drawn category, starting with first place, included Jaxon Nabinger, son of Trent and Nicole Nabinger, North Webster; Katie Fouts, daughter of Greg and Lisa Fouts, Warsaw; Macy Moore, daughter of Nathan and April Moore, Warsaw; and Mallory Snyzal, daughter of John and Jennifer Snyzal, Syracuse.
Winners in the motorized category, starting with first place, included Ashlynn Corn, daughter of Jamison and Tabatha Corn, Leesburg; Devin VanLue, son of Jeremy and Shawna VanLue, Syracuse; Cooper Garden, son of Ben and Jennifer Garden, Leesburg; and Quincie Stump, son of Matthew and Tierny Stump, Indianapolis.
The award of Best in Show also went to Corn.
In the memory of J. Homer Shoop, the Shoop Sports and Youth Foundation, Inc. provided the funds for the educational bonds awarded to winners. These funds totaled $30,000 for parade winners and $20,000 for pageant winners.
To be eligible for participation in the pageant, contestants were required to participate in the parade as well as be between the ages of 4 and 6. Parade contestants had to be under the age of 14. The North Webster Lioness Club sponsored the pageant and the North Webster Lions club sponsored the parade. Shoop Sports and Youth Foundation, Inc. co-sponsored both events.
The theme for 2014 was announced as “Return to Camelot” with the 2015 festival celebrating 70 years with the theme centering around the ’70s.