Winner Dolly Kaetler (left) looks on as Frances Darroch (standing) speaks during the 70-plus pageant during the Creston Valley Blossom Festival on May 21.

Winner Dolly Kaetler (left) looks on as Frances Darroch (standing) speaks during the 70-plus pageant during the Creston Valley Blossom Festival on May 21.

Kaetler wins Creston’s over-70 pageant

Web Lead

  • Jun. 4, 2011 6:00 a.m.

And the winner is…Dolly Kaetler! Along with everyone else who either took part in or watched the GoGo Grannies’ 70 and Over Ladies Pageant at this year’s Creston Valley Blossom Festival.

Ten contestants, many sponsored by community groups and organizations, vied for top place in a competition that included baking, handicrafts, a fashion parade, talent or speaking ability and providing impromptu answers to questions.

“It was absolutely fabulous to see such a variety of talent and costumes,” emcee Mary Underhill said on Monday. “I thought it was all just wonderful.”

Underhill, also a senior, kept the Saturday afternoon event moving along, although she admitted there were a few glitches.

“We had absolutely no time to rehearse, so all in all I thought it went pretty well,” she said. “Talk about ad libbing!”

The veteran of years of choir singing and conducting workshops as a stress therapist said there were many highlights.

“To hear Dolly sing one of the old songs that I know was great — I found myself singing along in my mind.”

A large crowd, including Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall, enjoyed tea and snacks in the community complex’s Creston Room during the competition. Music was provided by Strings Attached, with Audrey Thomas and Sophia Smith.

In addition to her selection by judges as the top contestant, Kaetler also was voted by her fellow contestants as the most congenial entrant.

“We are pleased that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,” said GoGo Grannies member MaryNell Hemphill. “A lot of the contestants’ friends or sponsors reserved tables for the event and the whole town seems to have been talking about it.”

Net proceeds go to GoGo Grannies, a charitable organization that helps grannies throughout the world. The Creston group’s focus is on South Africa and funds are administrated by the Stephen Lewis Foundation.