GREENVILLE – Of the 11 boys and 27 girls, only two could be crowned Monday evening at the Great Darke County Fair Little Miss and Mister Pageant, coordinated by The Flower Patch and emceed by Lorraine Grote.
“[Lorraine] did such an amazing job of getting the kids to come out of their shells,” a coordinator commented following the competition. “We’ve had male emcees in the past, but this year the kids really responded to her.”
A preschool teacher and mother, Grote has plenty of experience with children, she said.
“…I am a kid at heart, act like a kid on a regular basis, and think the laugh of a child is one of the most precious sounds ever heard!” Grote stated in her introduction. “I am very honored to be a part of this year’s Little Miss/Mr Pageant. What a privilege to be here, meet these amazing kids and watch them shine!”
Grote elicited several “kids say the darnedest things” responses from the young competitors, ages 3 to 5, while interviewing them, including an authentic and immediate “I love you,” from first runner-up Daniel Davis, age 4.
When asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, following the theme of “Down on the Farm” for this year’s pageant, many of the boys said they wanted to be cowboys, while the girls’ responses ranged from princess to cowgirl – along with Parker Francis, age 4, who wants to be a baby unicorn when she grows up, and Sophia Trout, age 4, who would like to be a fish so that she can spend her time swimming.
In the end, however, Jaxon Stiltner, age 5, son of Brandi Marker, won the judge’s heart and the title of Little Mister, while Kenley Jane Phlipot, age 5, daughter of Brad and Mallory Phlipot, beat out 26 other girls for the title of Little Miss.
The pageant court included first runners-up Daniel Davis, 4, son of Dylan and Marah Davis, and Glori Mae Rausch, 4, daughter of Nic and Elisabeth Rausch; second runners-up Pacey Miller, 3, son of Scott and Shelley Miller, and Lauren Holzapfel, 4, daughter of Matt and Karla Holzapfel; and third runners-up Eli Gosnell, 4, son of Trevor and Kristen Gosnell, and Sage Jones, 4, daughter of Christina Parker and Chad Jones.
Winning “Most Photogenic” were Pacey Miller, who also won second runner-up, and Callie Ann Marker, 4, daughter of Jared and Alicia Marker.
Also participating among the boys were: Zachary Shimp, 4, son of Josh and Dawn Shimp; Kayden Derksen, 3, son of Josh and Heather Derksen; Cole Lavy, 4, son of Jake and Jessica Lavy; Willis Shiverdecker, 3, son of Chelsey Shiverdecker; Owen Davis, 3, son of Dylan and Marah Davis; Brayden Barnse, 4, son of Melissa Gaspar and Scott Barnes; and Maverick Keller, 4, son of Jonathan and Nicole Keller.
Female participants included: McKenna Yant, 5, with her sister “Daisy the Cow”, daughters of Kevin and Holly Cole; Averi Ahrns, 4, daughter of Karl and Tyanna Ahrns; Parker Francis, 4, daughter of Jeff and Rachel Francis; Maybree Locke, 3, daughter of Josh and Megan Locke; Kami Norris, 3, daughter of Mitch and Angie Norris; Kennedy Freeman, 5, daughter of Brad and Kim Freeman; Hannah Haines, 3, daughter of Brian and Ashley Haines; Emma Turner, 3, daughter of Brittany Breymier; Alley Hayes, 4, daughter of Jon and Danielle Hayes; Auvrie Hawkey, 3, daughter of Chris Hawkey and Stephanie Todero; Addilyn King, 3, daughter of Kristina Pace; Mylie Sue Austerman, 3, daughter of Robert and Ashley Austerman; Kourtni Fort, 3, daughter of Gary and Kelly Fort; Sophia Trout, 4, daughter of Jim and Ashley Trout; Ella Locker, 4, daughter of Cory and Shelly Locker; Taylor Holzapfel, 5, daughter of Matt and Karla Holzapfel; Callie Ann Marker, 4, daughter of Jared and Alicia Marker; Tatum Marker, 3, daughter of Jason and Beth Marker; Sierra Johnson, 4, daughter of Dusty and Amber Johnson; Averie Kress, 4, daughter of Kevin and Sarah Kress; Ashley Lynn Nevels, 5, daughter of Tawny Weherley; Addison Sexton, daughter of Sabrina Sexton and Matt Flory; and Autumn Gessler, 4, daughter of Michael and Amy Gessler.