Experience paid off for one of the nine princesses that received top honors at the 56th annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival last Saturday.
Eighteen-year-old Jordan Ward was crowned 2014 Shrimp Queen by 2013 Shrimp Queen Christina Glase at the annual shrimp festival queen pageant, held on the pavilion at Lynn Hall Park. Ward, sponsored by Moss Marine, was a contestant -the only one of this year's princesses- in the pageant last year. This marks the second time in four years that Miss Moss Marine (Devin McDaniel was crowned 2011 Shrimp Queen) has taken the crown.
"I want to thank the Lions Club for giving me this opportunity for the second year in a row and for everything that they do for the shrimp festival," Ward said.
Miss Moss Marine Jordan Ward was all smiles after being named 2014 Shrimp Queen at the festival pageant Saturday. Christina Glase, 2013 queen, helps her into her garb.
The senior at Estero High School is involved with the National Honor Society, student government and medical academy. She was also a four-year letter winner in varsity soccer and was honored with the All Area Academic Student Athlete Award for possessing the best grade point average among district soccer players this past season.
Her recently completed school projects include work in a soup kitchen and the Christmas Service Project, where she and fellow students traveled to elementary schools to speak to underprivileged children, collect wish lists for Christmas presents, buy and wrap gifts, then invite the younger students to their school for a Christmas get-together.
Ward has performed extra school work and passed tests within Cambridge Academy and, along with a dual enrollment with Edison State College, has tallied 26 college credit hours. She plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall and major in Pre-Med. She has future aspirations to be a trauma surgeon, a profession that was inspired by her sister who has a bone disease.
1. Surf Club
2. Red Coconut RV Resort
- Civic/ Associations
2. Vietnam Brotherhood
1. Florida Guide Dogs
2. Bodenhafer for Council
- Youth Group
1. Little League
- Decorated Car
1. Beach United Methodist Church
- Decorated Truck
1. Beach Kiwanis
- Decorated Boat
1. Pieces of Eight/ Salty Sam's Waterfront Adventures
- Marching Unit/ Musical
1. Calendar girls
- Marching Unit/ Non-musical
- Musical Unit/ Non-marching
1. Bayshore Cloggers
- Chairman's Award
"We spend numerous hours in the hospital and emergency room with her," she said. "When I go with her, I tell myself this is the atmosphere that I really want to be with. In the medical academy, I actually got to shadow a surgery, and I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do."
Princess Nicole Weigold, sponsored by Xperia Hair & Spa, was named first runner-up, while Bailey Faircloth, sponsored by Holiday Water Sports, was selected second runner-up. Trophies also went to Miss Photogenic Ali Wiley, sponsored by Red Coconut RV Resort; Miss Personality Hailey Wright, sponsored by Semmer Electric; and Miss Congeniality Hannah Lunsford, sponsored by Trico Shrimp.
The princesses were judged on different criteria at the Shrimp Festival Queen Sunday Social at Matanzas On The Bay and at the pageant, whose standards were disclosed as overall presentation, poise and appearance, speaking ability ease and comfort, and sincerity.
While the judges made decisions, Glase recalled her past year's activities while representing the Beach Lions Club. She was also in the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Fourth of July Parade and will accommodate Lions Club members to Immokalee for eye screenings. In fact, she plans on being an optometrist after college.
"It has been a great experience with them. This past year has been a lot of fun," she said.
Beach resident Tracey Gore was instrumental in aiding the princesses through the processes, while Beach resident and actor Eli Baldwin emceed the pageant. He previously was the master of ceremonies at Ostego Bay Foundation's Tea by the Sea.
"I am very glad I had the opportunity to get to know all these ladies very well," he said. "They are really wonderful people. They are more than they just appear on the stage. They do so much.
"This shrimp festival is really important to everybody who is from Fort Myers Beach because shrimping is really the heart of the Beach."