There wasn’t a cloud in the sunny sky Oct. 12 as more than 150 families turned out at Westfield Century City for their turn in the spotlight. It was 2013 Shooting Stars Cover Kids Contest Day in center court and the cameras were ready to roll.
Every year, L.A. Parent invites families to enter Shooting Stars and turn out for a fun photo day where three lucky – and adorable! – children will be selected to be on the cover of the magazine. This year’s event also included a pop-up bookstore from Books and Cookies (www.BooksandCookiesLA.com) where families could shop for books and drop off donations to benefit a local elementary school library. There was a kid-sized tea house courtesy of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf where families could sample the new Blue Tiger kids’ tea and check out the children’s book Master Davey and the Magic Tea House, and co-author Susan Chodakiewitz was on hand to read the book to kids.
Dawn Barnes Karate Kids (www.karatekids.net) and HORIPRO Music Academy (www.horipromusicacademy.org) were there, giving demonstrations of their wonderful martial arts and music programs. There were tons of fun raffles from the National Parenting Publications Awards (www.nappaawards.com), and a prize wheel from Union Bank.
Families entering Shooting Stars also received L.A. Parent goodie bags stuffed with treats – including coupons for free Georgetown Cupcakes, lollipops from See’s Candy, tins of tea from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the children’s money-savvy book What a Bank Can Do from Union Bank, the DVD A Pocket For Corduroy from Scholastic and free downloads from children’s musician Heidi Swedberg.
Silly Sally’s (www.sillysallys.com) provided balloon sculptures and festive hats, and Bugaboo (www.bugaboo.com) brought a caricature artist to sketch visiting families.
But the main event was the photography. Valerie Tabor Smith (www.valerietaborsmith.com), Lauren Pisano (www.laurenpisano.com) and Rena Durham (www.renadurham.com) kept their shutters clicking throughout the morning and afternoon, capturing adorable smiles, sunny dimples, and the occasional show-stopping pout.
It was a great day for all – and then the real work began! The photographers and the L.A. Parent editorial and design team poured over the entries, looking for that special spark that makes a cover say “pick me up.”
Jack Wald, 9, of Los Angeles; Jordan Prough, 5, of Los Angeles; and Ethan Svedmark, 11 months, of Santa Monica, emerged as the leaders of the pack. Jack, a clever and friendly lacrosse player, lends his photogenic charm to this month’s cover. And you’ll see sweet Jordan – a little gymnast who loves sparkly pink – and smiley, teething Ethan, on upcoming covers this year.
At a Dec. 10 get-together at the L.A. Parent offices in Woodland Hills, Jack, Jordan and Ethan received another Shooting Stars perk – $250 savings bonds from Union Bank. There were smiles all around, and we’re already looking forward to getting our 2014 contest underway!