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Chamber crowns Mango Queen

Scarlett Player to reign over annual festival

May 22, 2013
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Pine Island Eagle

Being the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Mango Queen apparently runs in the Player family.

Scarlett Player will follow in her mother's footsteps after she was named to that prestigious post during Thursday night's Chamber of Commerce after-hours event at Gulf Coast Kayak, which served as the "MangoMania Kickoff."

Player was there to receive her tiara, cape and mango septor, along with numerous previous winners of the crown on a spectacular early evening.

Article Photos

Scarlett Player

Player is a lifelong Pine Island resident who works at Stonegate Bank with her mother, Tonya, the 2007 Mango Queen. She said she was very excited about being named.

"I wasn't sure at first because I do a lot of charity work and I'm a single mom, so it can be a lot," Player said. "It's going to be fun. It's cool to get to represent a place you love so much."

Chamber executive Jennifer Jennings, who was Mango Queen in 2003, said the choice was difficult, with three other worthy candidates, but felt Player was the perfect choice to promote Pine Island and its mangos.

"We honor her, the Pine Island area and the mangos. People come from all over just for our mangos," Jennings said.

As Mango Queen, Player will be the face of the annual Mango Festival which happens at the German American Club in Cape Coral in July. She will promote the event, as well as the chamber, on TV, radio and to the Board of County Commissioners.

The queen has to live on the island, be at least 18 years old and be able to attend the event and promote it.

"Her job is to promote the island, Mango Mania, and be there for the two days," Jennings said. "She'll be knighting men with her mango septor, she'll be in charge of the games like mango cornhole throw, and greeting everyone."

How Player plans to go about doing it, is still something she hasn't thought about yet. Thankfully, she has a few former queens to give her advice.

"Smile, smile, smile," said 2010 queen Robin Lilly.

Carrie Call, the 2011 winner, said, "Be nice and promote the island. She knows. She's been here her whole life."

Player said she's up to the challenge.

"I'm really looking forward to finding out more about other businesses on Pine Island and the things it has to offer outside of what we see every day," Player said. "There are a lot of awesome aspects about the island."

"I'm thankful to be working on the island and live here. I'm fortunate to have a job that allows me to do a lot of community service," Player said before going about her job by saying, "and come to the Mango Fest."



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