The snow has FINALLY melted and we are experiencing some warmer
weather now, but we are ready for Spring and even more so, Summer! Since
our last edition, we have had quite an eventful winter. Queen Shelby attended the Delaware Speedway Banquet in Dover, DE, where she received
recognition for our association being a sponsor for 2014.
The next weekend we were off to Sanibel Island in Florida for the
Florida Watermelon Convention, where we were met with a bit of warm
weather and southern sunshine! We had a fabulous time and Shelby was
excited to welcome a new watermelon sister to the family, as well as
spend time with the other state queens, as there time together was ticking
away…Thank you to Meagan and Miss Debra for hosting such a wonderful convention!
The Delaware Agriculture Dinner in Dover, DE was the next week
and Shelby greeted attendees and she was able to talk to some political figures she had previously met during her reign, including Delaware
Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Kee.
We hit the sky for Georgia’s Watermelon Convention in St. Simons Island
the next weekend and boy did we enjoy more southern weather and hospitality! Shelby had the opportunity to spend this weekend with almost
all the state queens, South Carolina’s newly crowned queen Sydney, and
together they all welcomed a new Georgia queen. Thank you to Samantha
and Jennifer for having us join in your fabulous weekend of festivities!
The following week Shelby went to the Maryland Agriculture Dinner,
where she tasted appetizers from all across Maryland and mingled with
guests, including the new Secretary of Agriculture, Joseph Bartenfelder,
who would join us at our convention just a few days later.
The next day, we kicked off our annual convention and this year we celebrated our 50th Anniversary. Queen Shelby and I welcomed five wonderful queen contestants to the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MD as well as
many state queens. We were so delighted to have so many state queens
able to attend this year as Shelby has grown many close friendships with
them all. Farmers attended seminars on Friday afternoon and we had a
“Star-Studded Red Carpet” themed dinner in the evening. We held our
seed spit competition on Saturday morning and the winners were Youth
– Matt Hurley, Male – Jason Tennefoss, Female – Lani Kennedy Har-mon, and Queen – our very own, Shelby Hurley. After lunch, we had an
afternoon of auction items and loads. We had a fantastic auction and we
appreciate everyone who purchased items and or loads to help our association and everything that we do. At our banquet in the evening we handed
out two scholarships. Our Delaware Scholarship winner was Miss Emma
Rider and Maryland Scholarship winner was Miss Erica Willing. Also
recognized at our banquet was the Lifetime Achievement Winner and this
year’s well-deserving winner was Mrs. Dawn Collins, who has contributed
many years to our association, including to the Queen Program and holding several appointed positions. Congratulations Dawn! At the conclusion
of our night, we crowned our new queen. The 2015 Mar-Del Watermelon
Queen is Miss Courtney Hastings. Courtney is the 22 year old daughter of
Shelley Hastings, the late Ray Hastings, and Dr. William Lane of Laurel,
Delaware. She is currently a senior at Stevenson University studying
Communication. We are truly delighted to welcome Courtney into our
watermelon family and we look forward to a fantastic year ahead!
Just enough time to pack and we were leaving again for Nationals in La
Quinta, California! A full day of traveling, but once we arrived, we knew
this place looked like we had stepped into a movie set! Lush green grass,
flowers blooming everywhere, a pool around every corner, and a “real”
mountain as the backdrop that we could literally touch…a true paradise
in the desert. We took a tour and learned of the glamorous lifestyles
of Hollywood’s most beloved superstars and enjoyed a ride on a tram
that took us to the top of one of the highest mountains in Palm Springs,
where there was snow! Finally it was time to get down to business and
Shelby represented our association very well and we are all very proud
of her. Shelby’s own peers voted her Miss Jubilee, which was well-deserved and we thank you all who were able to join us and to those of you
who have supported Shelby throughout her rein. Thank you Shelby for
all your hard work and dedication to the industry.
We have a full spring ahead and we wish you all a successful season.
We have plants to go water…so until next time, get outside and enjoy a
refreshing slice of watermelon!
Mar-Del Watermelon Association
In Georgia we got to see Juliemar Rosado and meet the newest
member to NWPB, Megan McKenna. Welcome Meagan! We
are happy to have you.
Jay Rider presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mrs.
Dawn Collins. Thank you Dawn for all you have done and still
do for us! We are so appreciative of you.
Miss Courtney Hastings. Congratulations
Courtney and welcome to our family!
We were so happy to see Arnold Mack and Brenda in FL. Lots
of well wishes to Arnold.
A National Convention in beautiful Palm Springs, CA at the La
Quinta Spa and Resort.
Congratulations to Illiana’s Emily Brown for being crowed the
2015 National Watermelon Queen!
The queens took this convertible for a cruise in
their promotional wear.
Thank you to Bob Gibson, Harry Vaughn, Mark and Dawn
Collins, and Ray and Teresa Vincent for a delicious dinner out
while in Palm Springs.
guests on our very
own Red Carpet
to celebrate Mar-Del Watermelon
All the queens in their evening gowns before the banquet.
Shelby with John and Alisa Lapide from Melon1. Thank you
Melon1 for all your support this year!
Shelby in her evening gown surrounded by our queen contes-
tants, Ashley Hastings, Courtney Hastings, Amy Wiggles-
worth, Bethany Wheatley, and Colleen Sheahan.
DE Dept. of Ag Secretary Ed Kee joins Queen Shelby and
some of our board members, Jay Rider, Doug Corey, Mark and
Dawn Collins, Kevin and Katey Evans, Travis Hastings, Will
Hales, and Ray Vincent.
The queens after the seed spit…and Shelby takes 1st in the
Shelby and GA queen Jennifer. Thank you for such a fabulous
Joseph Bartenfelder presents a proclamation from the State of
Maryand for the Association’s 50th Anniversary to one of its
founding fathers, Mr. Donald Hales.