FITS pageant gains more contestants

Drawing the line at 21 contestants, this year’s Fun in the Sun king and queen pageant will feature 11 girls and 10 guys vying for their respective crowns.
“We’ve got a lot of them,” admitted Rachel Thiessen, who is organizing the pageant for a second year in a row with Sherri Puddicombe.
“It’s more than double last year, and this year we’ve got the guys, so we’re pretty thrilled about that,” she added.
The 11 queen contestants include Sarah Angus (The Great Bear), Sara Fitzgerald (Gillons’ In-surance), Melanie Hyatt (Legion Br. #29), Alison McIvor (M&S Bootery and Sportique), Kayla Caul (Pinewood Sports & Marine), Sarah Noonan (La Place Rendez-Vous), Tanis McTavish (MacDonald Motors), Heather Algie (Lakeland Personnel), Shanna Calder (Wee-za’s Gifts, Etc.), Hope Wilson (Dairy Queen), and Jessica Wilson (The Olde & Resold Shoppe).
While some of the male contestants still are trying to land sponsors, they include Jamie Algie (Adrian Chapman), Dan Robinson (Morgan and Associates), Jamie Pryde (West End Motors), Karl Martinson (no sponsor), Anthony Labbe (no sponsor), Josh Mc-Mahon (no sponsor), Lorne Koski (Skates & Blades), Rick Ricard (no sponsor), Tyson Dennis (Rainy Lake Sports & Tackle), and Ryan Whalen (Tom Veert Contracting Ltd.)
Besides the chance to bask in the public eye for more than a month, just what’s got all these contestants signing up this year? “There will definitely be bigger prizes than last year,” said Thiessen.
“We haven’t confirmed any of it yet. We were talking about a truck for the guys and a car for the girls, or maybe some other kind of toys, like Sea-Doos.
“But we can’t say for sure at this time,” she noted.
But some of the prizes will remain the same, such as bursaries for the runners-up, added Thiessen.
One thing all the contestants will be working on soon is selling their buttons, which should be ready by next week.
“I just want the people to know there are going to be 500 buttons per contestant instead of 300, so there’ll be a lot of buttons out there,” warned Thiessen.
Contestants also will be busy holding a fundraiser car wash at the end of May, staging a flea market and kids’ carnival, and volunteering at the La Verendrye Hospital Auxiliary’s Strawberry Social and the public library’s Teddy Bear Picnic next month.
Thiessen said these appearances will be promoted as much as possible as the greater number of contestants means a greater likelihood of public participation.
As in previous years, an entertainment night also will be part of the pageant (scheduled for Sunday, June 23). The king and queen will be crowned July 1.
The reigning FITS Queen is April Matheson, with Sarah Hebert being First Princess and Lindsay Cawston the Second Princess. Jade Whitefield was Miss Congeniality.
Joanna McQuarrie and Ashley Sisco rounded out last year’s competition.