The robes are ready.
The crowns are on the way.
There is still time to enter to become the May 2, 2009 Ruskin Tomato King or Queen.
Regrettably, the Ruskin Jr. Woman's Club cannot sponsor the annual teen pageant this year. The Ruskin Community Development Foundation is trying to preserve the Ruskin Tomato Queen tradition as a community fundraising event by crowning the two adults raising the most money: split between their favorite charities and the RCDF so that that all funds collected go right back into community projects. Applications are online at http://www.ruskinfoundation.org/ and in the lobby of Ruskin 5/3 Bank. Please pass the word.
The Resort and Club at Little Harbor has generously donated a two-night stay for each newly crowned Ruskin Tomato Monarch.
Update to the 2009 Ruskin Tomato King & Queen Tournament
Last month when the Ruskin Jr. Woman’s Club announced that they were no longer able to sponsor the Tomato Queen Pageant, the Ruskin Community Development Foundation took up the challenge to preserve this traditional event by adding a King, increasing the minimum age to 18 and making it a community fundraiser. Today RCDF is announcing that they have also decided to donate 100% of any monies raised to start a scholarship fund for deserving second-year students at the Hillsborough Community College SouthShore Campus.
One of the founding principles of the original Ruskin College 100 years ago was that of universal higher education; that economic need should not stand in the way of access to college. The leadership of HCC and the Friends of the HCC SouthShore Campus feel this is just as important today. While there are several assistance programs available for first-year students, there are few programs to help get them through the second year to earn a degree or certificate. This scholarship fund will be maintained by the non-profit HCC Foundation on behalf of the Friends of the SouthShore Campus. Any deserving student, having completed one year at HCC SouthShore, will be to apply for scholarship assistance to the college president.
John Ruskin once said “Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them.”
In the early 40’s, pageant contestants in the Florida Tomato Festival, now the Ruskin Tomato & Heritage Festival, represented businesses and community organizations throughout South Hillsborough. (http://www.ruskinhistory.org/1942-queens.htm) We would like to see widespread support for this scholarship fund from today’s SouthShore communities of Riverview, Gibsonton, Apollo Beach , Ruskin, Wimauma and Sun City Center where the majority HCC SouthShore students come from.
In recognition of their royal efforts, the two individuals (male & female) raising the most money for the scholarship fund will be crowned Tomato King & Queen in a fun noon ceremony at the Ruskin Tomato Festival Saturday, May 2nd. The Resort and Club at Little Harbor has generously donated a two-night stay for each newly crowned Ruskin Tomato Monarch. Please call Fred Jacobsen at 813 298-6028 with any questions. Complete information and entry forms are online at www.RuskinFoundation.org and in the lobby of Ruskin 5/3 Bank.