Freeland resident Daniel Goldsmith was crowned this year’s Mr. South Whidbey on Saturday night at Freeland Hall.
Six candidates competed in the 12th annual fundraiser for South Whidbey residents with uncovered health-related expenses.
Goldsmith, 71, has been campaigning since June 15. He used an interesting marketing technique by carrying a mannequin named “Myrtle” with him when he competed in the Whidbey Triathlon in August, as well as when he rode in the Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund’s float during the Whidbey Island Fair.
Goldsmith, however, put his fundraising efforts on hold when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas; he’s an affiliate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was called down to disaster-stricken areas to provide relief and support. His wife, Sari Spieler, took over his fundraiser while he was gone.
Goldsmith made a surprise appearance at the pageant on Saturday night just in time for the talent show.
“He did a tango,” Price said. “We didn’t know he was flying in.”
Goldsmith was back in Texas when he took a break from his work to answer questions by a Record reporter on Tuesday morning.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” Goldsmith said. “…I wouldn’t have probably done as well if it weren’t for my wife.”
The event is hosted by the Friends of Friends Medical Support Fund, which was created by Lynn Willeford 20 years ago. It’s the support fund’s biggest fundraiser of the year, according to Kristi Price, secretary of the Friends of Friends board.
Price said $46,000 was raised from the event, the second-highest total in the pageant’s history. Money came from fundraising efforts by the candidates, as well as donations and $30 tickets for the sold out event on Saturday night.
The other candidates included Rod Stewart, Anthony Molinero, David Welton, Brook Willeford and Victor Ramos.
Sponsors of the event, which helped cover start-up costs, included: Sebo’s Do-It Center, The Goose, Useless Bay Animal Clinic, Saratoga Dental, Music for the Eyes, Offgrid Systems LLC, Bayview Mattress and Appliance and Edward Jones Investments (Freeland and Clinton).