BARRY’S BAY – The lounge at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre was packed on the evening of February 14 for this year’s Miss Timberfest Pageant.
The evening began with Mayor David Shulist giving a welcoming address as he thanked Shaun O’Reilly for his involvement in this year’s Timberfest.
“When someone like Phil [Conway] has stepped down it’s sometimes hard to fill his shoes, so congratulations,” Shulist said.
MPP John Yakabuski, along with Helen Conway and Mayor David Shulist then took part in the official ribbon cutting ceremony kicking off Timberfest 2013.
“I declare Timberfest 2013 open for fun and games,” Conway announced as she cut the ribbon, which was followed by applause and some hoots and hollers from the crowd.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Helen says the games are on, so they’re on,” O’Reilly, organizer of this year’s Timberfest, said.
Master of Ceremonies for Miss Timberfest 2013 was an entertaining Chris Kyte, of MyFM Radio.
“It is a pleasure to be here this evening. I have actually only been here a couple of times. I’m from the other end of the Valley, so please don’t hold it against me,” Kyte joked. “But I was asked if I would be interested in emceeing the beauty pageant this evening and, of course, I said yes right away.”
One by one the lovely Miss Timberfest contestants were introduced and made their way to the stage from the back of the lounge with grace, while music played in the background.
The Madawaska Valley Lions Club was then invited up for a cheque presentation.
“It gives us a great deal of pleasure for the Lions Club to again support Timberfest and tonight we would like to announce that we have donated $1,000 to run the Miss Timberfest Pageant,” Lions Club Vice-President Jim Haskins said.
“On behalf of the Miss Timberfest girls and myself, and Erin [Plebon], I’d like to thank the MV Lions Club for donating the money for this event,” Gwen Dombroski, co-organizer of the pageant, said.
Next, the charming contestants came forward to introduce themselves, and give a brief background about themselves and their sponsors.
Kyte thanked all the ladies and then introduced the judges of the evening’s pageant: Stella McCarthy, Steve Labelle and Amy Stevenson.
“I can tell you right now that it’s not going to be an easy task for these three folks to pick who our winners are,” Kyte said.
Each contestant then had the task of answering some questions.
The young ladies answered all the questions with great thought and well-expressed presentation, followed by great rounds of applause for the ladies and their answers.
“I work with MyFM, and I work in the news department, and quite often I have to report unfortunate and negative stories. And sometimes it can make it a little discouraging, I’m a very optimistic and kind of naive sort of girl and it can make it kind of discouraging when you’re looking forward. But then I hear and meet young ladies like these, and I realize that there is hope, we are moving forward, and there are youth out there that are going to make a difference. So ladies, thank you so much for that,” Kyte said.
“Now that the serious part of the conversation is over, ladies I do believe that you are about to Zumba for us, is that true?”
Kim Shalla, a licensed Zumba instructor in Barry’s Bay, was then introduced “before having the girls party themselves into shape.”
The contestants had no hesitation in kicking off their shoes and taking to the floor to follow Shalla’s direction in Zumba dancing.
Story continues in the February 20, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.