Pine Island residents to elect 2010 Mango Queen
Adding a new twist to naming the 2010 queen of MangoMania, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce will seek the assistance of the subjects of Pine Island and Matlacha. In years past, nominees underwent interviews with a chamber appointed panel to determine who would serve as queen, however, this year the decision will be made by casting votes.
“This year we have set up a designated voting polls at the Chamber Welcome Center for residents to determine who will the their queen,” said Chamber executive director, Lisa Benton. “The board of directors have chosen three nominees that they best feel will represent Pine Island as Mango Queen and the vote will be much like the Lion’s mock mayor elections.”
According to Benton, the vote will be open to the community by voting at $.25 per vote and will take place at the Chamber Welcome Center until May 18. The funds raised will go toward a Welcome Center project. The queen will be announced at the MangoMania kick off party on June 17.
This year voters will have three nominees from which to select a queen, Karen Burns, Barbara Luck and Carrie Call.
Barbara Luck is a full-time physical therapist and owner of the Florida Gallery in Bokeelia. On display visitors will find her digitally enhanced photographs of images found in Southwest Florida as well as numerous featured artists displaying a variety of artwork styles. Luck also served one term as secretary to the Matlacha Hookers.
Karen Burns is a Bokeelia resident and is a long-time employee of Palm Co. also in Bokeelia. She has served as a board member with the Matlacha Hookers and plays a very important role in the creation of the Hooker float that is used each year during the Pine Island July 4 parade. As an active member of the Hookers, Burns has spent countless hours volunteering at several fund raisers including the Hooker’s annual fishing tournament, Matlacha Mariner events and MangoMania.
Carrie Call, of Pine Island Consulting, is a native Floridian and a Bokeelia resident. Call is an environmental planner specializing in green building and is currently involved in two building projects, one at Page Field and the other at Southwest Florida International Airport. She, too, is a member of the Matlacha Hookers, as well as Lee County Smart Growth, Conservation 20/20 and more.
Passing along a few words of wisdom to the candidates, Mango Queen Robin Lilly encouraged them to have fun.
“The best piece of advice I can offer is to have fun with it and enjoy your reign as Mango Queen,” Lilly said. “This is a great opportunity to promote Pine Island and spread the happiness that is so infectious here. It is of the utmost importance for the queen to demonstrate what a great community we have here on the island and how much fun we all have.”
The 2010 MangoMania Tropical Fruit Festival will take place on July 10 and 11 at the German-American Club in Cape Coral. For more information, call the Chamber Welcome Center at 283-0888 or visit the official festival website at mangomanialf.com