Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 20, 2001

LP queen going to Aquatennial

By Patrice Waldron

Lester Prairie queen committee member Peg Rathkamp reported the activities of the Lester Prairie Royalty to the city council at last Monday's meeting.

About 20 appearances have been made in neighboring towns, said Rathkamp.

"I've had only good responses so far from the community," Rathkamp said.

Along with the list of events the royalty has attended, Rathkamp petitioned the council to consider sponsoring upcoming events.

Specifically, the request was made for the Lester Prairie Queen Martina Heinsch to be sponsored by the city of Lester Prairie to attend the Minneapolis Aquatennial next summer.

The $600 sponsorship covers the cost of the hotel, meals, the activities, transportation, chaperones, and more. The royalty committee would raise money to pay for other expenses, such as gowns and formal photos, Rathkamp said.

Heinsch would be in the running for the title of Queen of the Lakes. Only present royalty may compete for that title.

There will be speaking appearances, television, and many publicity appearances, where Heinsch would be serving as the Lester Prairie ambassador, promoting Lester Prairie, Rathkamp explained.

Rebecca Heimerl of the queen committee explained that there is normally a waiting list to participate in the Aquatennial events, but, because she has connections with the event organizers, they are willing to allow the Lester Prairie queen to participate next summer.

"I've seen more parades in the last two months than in 20 years," commented Council member Ron Foust, who is father of Lester Prairie Princess Crystal Foust.

Along with participation in the Aquatennial, the royalty committee is trying to raise enough money so that next year's royalty will have their own float, explained Rathkamp.

"It's a good learning experience for the girls, and it's a great ambassador for the city," Foust said.

The council approved the sponsorship of a candidate in the 2002 Aquatennial. If Heinsch is unable to attend the Aquatennial, then Foust would be given the opportunity to represent the city of Lester Prairie.

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