Sand angels show off their stuff in sand castle contest

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By Judy Halone-The Courier Herald

Even rain and surf couldn't wash away a group of friends' dreams at the annual Long Beach Peninsula's Sand Sations sand castle contest July 20 and 21.

The six Bonney Lake girls - who gave themselves the team name of “The Sand Angels” - ranged in age from eight to 11 years and were led by Tani Adams.

The group consisted of Adams' daughters, Paige and Mackenzie, along with Audrey Foreman, Jessica Oliphant, Courtney Kaiser and Jessica Luckey.

The idea came to Adams after her daughter completed fifth grade in June.

“I wanted to celebrate Paige's transition into middle school,” Adams said. She encouraged her daughter to invite both classmates and neighbor friends, too.

Adams ran across the sand castle competition while searching the Internet for an event they could all participate in, and knew she'd discovered the perfect outing.

It was the first time any in the group had attempted such a feat, Adams said. Once they had the design chosen - a mother sea turtle with babies and eggs - the group dug their toes in the sand and went to work.

“We headed down to Owen Beach at Point Defiance to practice, but the sand fell apart,” she said. “ We found out the sand consistency in Puget Sound was more granulated than at Long Beach.”

Unstoppable, Adams purchased 200 pounds of sand at a nearby home improvement store, along with a plastic children's pool and an assortment of sand castle tools. The group practiced to perfection and soon headed for the ocean, which was the first time several of the girls had visited the area, Adams said.

Adverse weather nearly canceled the event but didn't wash away the team's dreams.

The morning of the competition, the group wore matching tie-died shirts and eagerly awaited the sounding of the horn.

Entered under the “family” category, the Sand Angels started digging and forming their creation at 10:30 a.m.

“There was one lady from Jamaica who got really excited when she saw the sea turtle,” Adams said.

The sand sculptors finished their creation in three and a half hours and were satisfied with the end results.

“I feel very proud of them,” Adams said. “I like the way they discovered how they not only worked more efficiently together, but that they had a fun and memorable time.”

And even if the weather chooses to not cooperate next year, it won't stop the Sand Angels' future plans.

“They're already making plans for next year's competition,” Adams said.

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