PHOTOESSAY BY DAVID WELTON
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributor
October 5, 2016
The happy sound of adult laughter filled Freeland Hall on Saturday, Oct. 1, in anticipation of the 11th annual Mr. South Whidbey contest. This major fundraiser supports Friends of Friends, a medical support lifeline assisting with unexpected or unaffordable provider and pharmacy bills for residents of Greenbank, Freeland, Langley, and Clinton. Friends of Friends has raised over one million dollars since inception in 1997. For more information about the organization, visit Friends of Friends.
At Saturday’s event, once the lights were dimmed, each contestant made his spotlight entry dressed in a costume appropriate to Whidbey Island.
During intermission, previous contestants circulate, carrying cardboard boxes with plastic cups, each representing a different contestant. Spectators empty their pockets of spare change in support of their favorite. Because this charity doesn’t waste money on frills, the ratio is simple: each dollar equals one vote. Almost $29,000 flowed into the coffers during the course of the event.
After the interviews, the talent show allowed contestants to exhibit their abilities.
David Welton is a Whidbey Island photographer who credits his grandmother’s travel slide shows and her gift to him of a Kodak Starflash camera for his interest in photographic art. His goal to use his photographs to inspire others to realize their unrecognized potential. To learn more about Welton, visit David Welton.
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