By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Some changes have been made to this year’s Beautiful Baby contest.
The Wyandotte Jaycees will hold the annual event near the city’s clock tower Wednesday through Saturday during the Wyandotte Street Art Fair.
Beautiful Baby serves as a fundraiser for the Jaycees, the organization that has sponsored the contest for eight years. This year the organization has lowered the entry price from $20 to $10.
“We lowered it because of the economy and we want to get these families involved and these kids involved,” said Jaycees member Rich Cieslowski.
The contest also has been expanded from two winners to six. In addition to the top boy and girl like in past years, but there also will be four runners-up.
“We’re looking at having about $1,000 in prizes between all the winners, so that is kind of cool,” Cieslowski said.
Eligible babies can be up to 24 months old. Parents must include a 4-inch-by-6-inch nonreturnable color photo along with the application and $10 fee. Applications can be found at the organization’s Web site www.wyandottejaycees.org.
Fairgoers vote for the top beautiful babies by placing money in a jar with the baby’s picture on it. The babies who receive the most change in their jar at the end of the fair will receive prizes.
Collected change is used by the Jaycees to support annual projects such as food and gift baskets for needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Senior Spaghetti Dinner and the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
The top baby boy and girl also will participate in the 2010 Wyandotte Fourth of July parade.
The entrance deadline was originally today, but it has been pushed back to the beginning of the contest on Wednesday.
“If somebody shows up at the art fair with their picture and application, we’ll go ahead and accept them for the contest,” Cieslowski said.
He added that another fundraiser the Jaycees are running during the fair is a Necessity Drive for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
The home provides domiciliary and nursing care to Michigan veterans and to windows, widowers, spouses, former spouses and parents of Michigan veterans.
“It’s a government-run agency, and like everything, they are suffering from cutbacks all around,” Cieslowski said. “They need some necessities like batteries; writing tablets and pens; miscellaneous clothing; and those kinds of things.”
A full list of needed items can be found on the Jaycees Web site and items can be dropped off at their booth during the fair.
For more information about the contest or the fundraiser call (734) 284-3861 or go to the organization’s Web site at www.wyandottejaycees.com.
By BROOKE STEVENSON