While the name "ice princess" usually conjures up visions of someone with a chilly disposition, here in Summit County, it's a person with a heart of gold. The Rotary Club of Summit County's Ice Melt Princess contest is underway, with five candidates raising money for the organization in order to be considered Rotary royalty. The competition runs in conjunction with the group's annual Ice Melt contest, a guessing game of when Lake Dillon will finish thawing out. Ice Princess candidates run for a few reasons, according to Ann Clement, Rotarian and member of the Ice Melt and Ice Princess committees. "Usually they want to collect money for the Rotary club, sometimes it's someone who has always wanted to be a princess," she said.Here's how it works: Princess hopefuls raise votes for $1 each. Whomever has the most money toward the end of April - when a princess is coronated - wins. Clement said contenders can raise funds any way they want to, although Rotary suggests they go to as many local events around the county as they can while asking family, friends and local businesses to scrounge up support. "It's a Chicago-style contest," Clement said of the pay-per-vote method. "There are no rules."
At the Rotary's Ice Melt contest - which has been running for almost 30 years - community members guess when an "ice device" on Dillon Reservoir will fall through in the spring. Two clocks are placed inside an orange barrel, which is then placed on the lake using the Summit County Sheriff's Office hovercraft. When the ice melts and the device hits the water, the timers stop. The contest participant who is able to guess the closest to its fall wins. The prizes are $4,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third. Each vote costs $5. The device is placed on April 7, and guesses are accepted until April 29 - or earlier if the barrel falls through before then. Clement said between the two contests, Rotary is hoping to raise $20,000 or more, all of which will go toward Rotary projects, programs and scholarships that support education, health and hunger. Ice Princess voting and Ice Melt guesses can be registered at www.dillonicemelt.com, or through Rotarian friends throughout the county. Princess contenders are also accepting donations toward their own candidacies, and members of the Rotary's Summit High School Interact club are selling tickets for the Ice Melt.
Michaela (Kaylie) Miller
Michaela Miller, 18, is a graduate of the Summit High School class of 2011 who currently lives in Frisco and attends classes at Colorado Mountain College in pursuit of her associate's degree. After a summer studying in Granada, Spain last year and traveling Europe, Miller is planning to transfer to the University of Colorado at Denver in the fall to pursue a bachelor's degree in international studies.Michaela was born in Missouri and has also lived in New York and California - in addition to her years in Summit County. She loves photography, reading a good mystery novel, rowing, skiing and enjoying the outdoors. She loves to try new things - especially new foods - and is excited to be an Ice Princess in order to help with the Rotary's mission of giving back to the community.
Hayley Lotan, 21, has lived in Breckenridge for two years. She graduated from Colorado Mountain College with an associate's and DNA degree. She currently works at the Doubletree in Breckenridge and will be returning to nursing school. Lotan volunteers with Bo Zurbriggen at the hospital in Frisco and was highly recommended to be an Ice Princess. She is very excited about having the opportunity to support Rotary in this very important community project.
Nancy Follett moved to Summit County in 1994 and quickly immersed herself in community activities. For The Summit Foundation she was a director, president and is now an emeritus director. For the National Repertory Orchestra she was a director and president. She was also a director and president of the Keystone Ranch Homeowners Association. Nancy helped found and then chaired the Mountain Art Gathering. She has been named Summit County's "Citizen of the Year" and "Philanthropist of the Year." She continues her involvement with community organizations as an advisor and supporter. Before moving to Summit County Follett lived in Oak Park, Ill., where she was involved in the community in numerous ways, including serving as Township Supervisor, leading several charitable agencies, and acting as founder and president of the largest health-planning agency in the state.Follett has four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Before health problems slowed her down, she was active in water aerobics and pilates. She played the harp as a young woman and has continued to support many musical activities. Follett sees the Ice Princess contest as one more way she can continue her giving to the Summit County community.
Kristina Klug was raised in Longmont and has been skiing since she was 3 years old. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she met her husband, Noah Klug. While in college, she spent a year studying in Spain and completed two majors and a minor in four-and-a-half years. The couple lived in Seattle, Rhode Island and Texas before moving back to Colorado. They have two sons: Jack and Sam. Klug earned her master's degree in school counseling last year. Klug serves on the board of Lake Dillon Preschool and is the co-chair for its fundraising committee. She also works at Curves in Frisco, is the office manager for The Klug Law Firm, and is starting an administrative consulting business, when she is not raising her two rambunctious little boys. Klug said that being crowned Ice Princess would be the icing on a very sweet cake. She can be found on the mountain trying to telemark, shopping at Target and chasing her boys around Dillon.
Jennifer McConnell was born and raised in Littleton and has been calling Summit County home since 2000. Growing up, she spent her weekends riding the ski bus, heading to the mountains and learning to ski with Buffalo Ski Club. After graduating from Metro State College with her first bachelor's degree, she moved to Summit County with her brother. After numerous years of working odd jobs during the summer and ski patrolling during the winter, McConnell went back to school to become a nurse. Now, after eight years of service at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center - with the last five working as an emergency department nurse - McConnell is the director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner's Program, which provides medical care to victims who have been sexually assaulted. McConnell loves being a nurse, and is currently applying to nurse practitioner school to someday become a provider in Summit. Like most Summit Countians, McConnell enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities: skiing, snowshoeing, hut trips, hiking, rafting, and mountain and road biking. Her most loyal followers are her two yellow labradors. She wins their votes with the dog treats she constantly carries in her pockets, and she said she'll win Ice Princess votes with her warm personality because there's not an icy bone in her body. For more information about all the candidates and both contests, go to www.dillonicemelt.com