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Behind the Mask king and queen candidates presented at kickoff event

The coming month will be packed with fundraisers, fun events and information about a great cause, as candidates for king and queen of mask compete to see who can raise the most for local children by the Behind the Mask Ball on Feb. 1.

Twin Cedars Youth and Families officially introduced its four king and five queen candidates at its Twelfth Night celebration on Saturday. The month-long fundraiser helps programs under the Twin Cedars umbrella, including Twin Cedar’s Child Advocacy Center, therapeutic foster care, summer camp, truancy intervention program, residential program and more. According to Twin Cedars representatives, the fundraiser has an especially clear impact on the children in its residential programs.

“The funds allow us to give the boys special opportunities that aren’t covered in the per diem from the state,” said Kim Bond, the program director at the Bradfield Center. “It means a lot to the children to know that others care. Many of them come from homes where they didn’t feel loved and supported, so to have the love and support of the community is extra special.”

Those opportunities include experiences that many of the boys’ peers enjoy.

“It allows us to have enough funds to also provide nice experiences that we want all of our kids to have, my own children included,” said Jennifer Shawa, Twin Cedars Director of Development. “We want to be able to provide holiday parties and field trips and a day to go fishing or a day to go to Six Flags or whatever — that makes for a happy childhood.”

This year’s king candidates are George Bailey, Quay Boddie, Nate Crawford and Josh O’Neal. The queen candidates are Daniela Bailey, Nicole Crane, Allie Crawford, Lindsey Perkins and Dawn Ware.

The candidates took turns sharing their reasons for taking part in the fundraiser, and several candidates said that they had already seen the impact of Twin Cedars on the community.

Kings and queens of mask from previous years also shared words of encouragement for the candidates, reminding them that no matter who won the competition, the children would be the real winners.

“[When I was nominated] I sat down and thought about all the wonderful things that Twin Cedars does for — not only our community, but the surrounding areas — and how much of a difference I see in kids every day teaching school from what Twin Cedars does,” said Katie Massey, the 2019 queen of mask. “I know that this year we have an amazing group of candidates who are going to do a wonderful job, and I want to thank all of them for stepping up and accepting this challenge.”

To vote for a candidate, visit Twincedars.org/behind-the-mask-royalty-2020/.