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Fogarty to be honored for his work for Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship Pageant

He emceed the pageant for 13 years.

Jim Fogarty stands in his office at Lakes and Leisure Realty in Breezy Point.
Jim Fogarty, shown standing in his office at Lakes and Leisure Realty in Breezy Point, will become part of the Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship Pageant Hall of Fame on Friday, May 6. The airplanes hanging on his wall reflect his hobby of flying.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

BREEZY POINT — Jim Fogarty served as emcee for the Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship Pageant for 13 years, and he relished every minute of interacting with the contestants and helping make the experience fun for them.

“What I enjoyed about it was meeting these kids - these young girls - and making it kind of fun,” Fogarty said. “I’m kind of impromptu.”

For example, he shared the story of having the contestants draw the impromptu questions they’d have to answer on stage during the pageant. After the girls studied their individual questions, he’d say, “OK, now pass it to the right.”

For his work emceeing the pageant from 1987-2000, Fogarty is the next inductee into the Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship Pageant Hall of Fame. He joins Vonnie Tweed and John and Caroljean Weise.

I always enjoyed working with the girls and stepped down in 2000 to let others get involved. Thanks for the memories.
Jim Fogarty

The Hall of Fame was created in 2019 to recognize volunteers who make a difference in the lives of the girls who participate in the pageant each year.

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“We are pleased to honor Jim Fogarty for his service to the Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship Pageant program and induct him into our Hall of Fame,” Kimberly Ziesemer, pageant director, wrote via email. “Jim volunteered as the master of ceremonies for 13 years, from 1987 to 2000.

“You could say it runs in the family as his daughter, Tami Lueck, was crowned Miss Pequot Lakes Princess in 1988, and his granddaughter, Alexis Lueck, was crowned Miss Pequot Lakes in 2017.”

Both Tami and Alexis will be a part of the Hall of Fame presentation at this year’s pageant at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, in the Pequot Lakes High School auditorium.

Fogarty remembers that first pageant he emceed and the many girls who hoped for and competed for the crown, including his daughter. Carla Thiede was the outgoing Miss Pequot Lakes from 1986. The crown in 1987 went to Jodie Tweed, he recalled, and Vikki Dorn was First Princess.

His daughter was First Princess the next year.

Fogarty enjoyed working with many pageant organizers, including the Weises, Renee Anderson, Judy Larsen, Don and Barb Merritt, Tim Leagjeld and Pequot Lakes Woman’s Club members.

“I always enjoyed working with the girls and stepped down in 2000 to let others get involved. Thanks for the memories,” Fogarty said.

He and his wife, Diane, moved to Pequot Lakes from Mazeppa with their daughter, Tami, and two sons, Jon and Ryan, in 1985.

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“I came here for a change in jobs,” Fogarty said.

A friend had called to ask him to come to the area to work at the insurance agency at Lakeland State Bank. In 1988, he founded Lakes and Leisure Realty, Inc., where he continues as owner/broker with an office in Breezy Point.

His partner, Dick Rostad, joined him in 1990, and they’ve worked together ever since.

For as long as I have known Jim, he has been an amazing volunteer of the community.
Kimberly Ziesemer

Fogarty supports volunteering, which he continues today as the CEO of the Pelican Lakes Conservation Association.

“I do have a strong commitment to be a volunteer and help in my community,” he said. “I call it ‘stewardship’ - out in your community and helping where you can.”

Previously, he was a member of the Pequot Lakes Chamber Board and he co-chaired a Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener with the late Jim Oraskovich.

“I’ve always been involved - in whatever community,” Fogarty said. “Being involved and helping out here and there.”

Ziesemer praised that volunteer ethic.

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“For as long as I have known Jim, he has been an amazing volunteer of the community,” she wrote. “I am honored to call Jim my friend and still be able to volunteer with him for the Pelican Lakes Conservation Club.”

Regarding the Miss Pequot Lakes Scholarship pageant, Fogarty spoke of contestants who have excelled in life.

“It instills great leadership and gals that can do well in life,” he said, noting that goes for all contestants, not just those who win crowns.

“During the pageant, I’d say: ‘These kids are great - all of them,’” Fogarty said.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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