Pease, Spears M&M choice for TUT
Amongst all of the clowning around at the annual Kick-off Jan. 5 at Houghton Lake High School in celebration of this year’s Tip-up Town theme “Circus... Under the Big Top,” Prudenville’s Mindy Debo was named Tip-up Town Queen 2013.
Debo said she is used to hearing the name of the first runner-up announced first at such competitions, but Master of Ceremonies Chris Sura called her name first.
“I was definitely surprised,” she said. “I’m really happy.”
Debo, a family services worker, and Hall, a dental hygienist, had met with judges, Penelope VanDevelder, Diane Tompkins and Lauren Vercruysse in a series of interviews held prior to the Kick-off (Vercruysse could not attend the Kick-off itself). Sura asked the candidates their final questions on stage.
When Sura asked Debo, a 2006 graduate of Houghton Lake High School, about who she would like to have lunch with – dead or alive – she said her grandmother, Grace. She said she wears her wedding ring and hopes to name her future daughter Grace, if she has a daughter. Hall, who graduated from HLHS in 2001, when asked what three things she would bring with her on a desert island, said “a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste.”
When Sura (dressed like a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band member wannabe!) asked what kind of circus act they would be – in keeping with the Tip-up Town theme – Hall answered fire dancer and Debo said trapeze artist.
Debo said they plan to attend the annual Tip-up Town fundraiser this Saturday at Shenanigan’s Pub at 8 p.m. They are also considering jumping in the Polar Bear Dip by raising money for the Wertz Warriors. The women have already been to Spicer’s Boat City to order their queen’s court snowmobile jackets, which will be embroidered by Arnie’s Arts and Crafts. Both are TUT sponsors. The Kick-off itself was sponsored by Northwestern Bank, Houghton Lake.
Debo and Hall will attend Tip-up Town 2013 and various parades throughout Michigan later in the year.
“I’m looking forward to everything,” Debo said. “It’s going to be really fun to do it with Jennifer.”
She added that volunteers Kathy and Gary Pease plan to pull the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce’s Tip-up Town float at the parades.
Debo thanked those who attended the TUT Kick-off supporting her and Hall. She said they will do their best to represent Houghton Lake and Tip-up Town this year.
“I’m excited,” she said.
Accompanying the women this year will be Mayor “Clownin’Around” Kevin Pease and Marshal “Jokin’ Jabberjaw” Jason Spears, who ran as “Old School Party” candidates and were elected by a vote of the audience members over their rivals, “Dumb and Dumber” candidates, brothers Keith Swan and Karl Swan, running as “The Brotherhood Party” candidates.
Dressed as a ring master in a red coat, Dot Clymer introduced Pease and Spears, who came onto the stage on a large tricycle (with training wheels), decorated with smiley-face balloons. They highlighted many of the activities families can participate in at Tip-up Town. Also in the skit were Kaitlin Spears and Lacey Brown, demonstrating tug-of-war, as well as Bobby Schleben, Amber McLeod and John Hines.
Roscommon County Clerk/Register of Deeds Michelle Stevenson swore the new officials in on stage, where a lot of “swearing” took place.
While they did not get voted into office, Karl and Keith Swan made a valiant effort in their skit, with Karl dressed in a bright orange tuxedo and Keith in a blue one – both with matching colored shoes! The candidates promised their “Dumb and Dumber” “shaggin’ wagon” will be at Tip-up Town, regardless of who won.
Tracy Smith, the mistress of ceremonies, who hosted alongside master of ceremonies Chris Sura, introduced the Tip-up Town Grand Marshal, Sandy Egbers.
Egbers, a 27-year employee of Chemical Bank, is currently assistant vice-president and event coordinator.
A long-time community volunteer, she has been a member of the Houghton Lake Lions for eight years and currently serves as the club’s treasurer. For the past 12 years, she has been a member of the Houghton Lake Merchants and serves as its treasurer.
Egbers is a 10-year member of the Houghton Lake Area Historical Society and a three-year member of the Roscommon County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. She also serves on the Roscommon County Victim Services Unit.
Smith presented her with a Tip-up Town shirt and a bouquet of flowers.
“Thank you, very much,” she said.
Egbers told the Resorter that “there’s so many people who do more than I, but I really appreciate the honor.”
In a tribute to the late Lyman Foster, who owned Lyman’s on the Lake and was a supporter of Tip-up Town for many years (he served as the 2006 TUT mayor), Frank “T-Bear” Thibert played guitar and sang “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”
Foster’s daughter, 2006 Queen Karen Patterson, was presented with a certificate by Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce President Dave Denboer.
Denboer said Foster, who died Aug. 5, 2012, was a past board member and the chamber recognized his “many years of support.”
Patterson, who received a standing ovation, offered her thanks and said her dad was “smiling down” on them, “especially since we have ice.”
Thibert also performed “Come to Tip-up Town,” written by the late Tommy Durden of Houghton Lake, to get the crowd excited for this year’s event.
Introduced were Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce members, President Dave Denboer, Vice-president Walt Painter, Penelope VanDevelder, Tracy Constance, Scott Bockelman, Doug Miller and Lucy McCraven. Also appearing on stage were some of the past Tip-up Town mayors and marshals and queens.
Leading the auction of the Tip-up Town badges was again auctioneer Gary “Punk” Kochensparger. The winning bids of the top 10 badges were: No. 10, Jeff Faust, $55; No. 9, Parker Seiler, $55; No. 8, Tracy Constance, $85; No. 7, Constance, $55; No. 6, Darrell “Double D” LaPaugh, $115; No. 5, Debbbie Brown, $95; No. 4, LaPaugh, $100; No. 3, Jeff Faust, $95; No. 2, LaPaugh, $200; and No. 1, Al Cambridge, $400.
Also auctioned were the first 10 numbered Polar Bear Dip sweatshirts: No. 10, Al Townsend, $135; No. 9, Ray Sova, $155; No. 8, Ed Rockett, $75; No. 7, Marc Milburn, $75; No. 6, Craig Cotterman, $75; No. 5, Jeremy Wagner, $75; No. 4, Sean Bell, $65; No. 3, Cotterman, $85; No. 2, Kenny Gulbrandsen. $105; and No. 1, Parker Seiler, $150.
At the dinner preceding the Kick-off, Joe’s Coney sponsored a hot dog and coney dog dinner, held in the high school cafeteria.
Out in the lobby, guests could purchase Tip-up Town badges and clothing (long-sleeved thermals are new this year) or sign up for the TUT 5K Fun Run/Walk, set for the first TUT Saturday, Jan. 19.
To register for the run/walk, visit www.houghtonlakechamber.net for a registration form (you may also register the day of the race). The cost is $20. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes.
The event will again take place on M-55 as it did last year, but this run/walk will be an “out and back route” from the TUT site, starting at the Family Fun Tent. Parking will be available at Collins Elementary. For information call the Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce at 366-5644.
Director Linda Tuck announced the theme for Tip-up Town 2014: “Michigan Made.” She said the announcement was made early so that entries for the badge design may be turned in by the April 1, 2013, deadline.