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Five Tyrone youngsters amongst those chuckling for title of best giggler

The fifth annual Giggle-off contest, sponsored by General Mills and Giant Eagle Altoona and Roaring Springs, is scheduled for Friday, June 20 at the Altoona Curve game.
Five Tyrone kids are semi-finalists in the event and are competing for first prize. They include: Kyle Plummer, Jessica Liddick, Bethany Liddick, Corbin Ray and Ethan Cushion.
Sales Representative for General Mills Mike Blaska of Tyrone originated the idea for the Giggle-off contest. Pillsbury had a national Giggle-off contest, and Blaska tailored it to make it a local event.
“The purpose of it is give back to the kids and the families that support us,” said Blaska.
Blaska said the first-ever Giggle-off contest was held at the Altoona Giant Eagle. However, the event was such a success that organizers needed to expand after the first year. Blaska teamed up with the Altoona Curve, and the contest has been a feature at one of the baseball games every year since.
The way the contestants are chosen for the Giggle-off contest is that any kid age three to 13 registers at either Waly 103.9, Giant Eagle Altoona or Roaring Springs. Then, on a live drawing on Waly 103.9, there are 20 contestants drawn.
Each contestant is then given four tickets for family members to attend the Altoona Curve game for the Giggle-off contest.
“This way it give kids an opportunity to have fun and make it a family night out,” said Blaska.
The night of the contest, the kids go on the baseball field, and each contestant gets to giggle one time. Then, Steamer, Diesel Dog and the Pillsbury Doughboy will be on hand to ask the crowd to applaud for their favorite giggler. The contestant with the loudest applause wins first place.
First prize is $300; second prize is $200; third prize is $100; fourth and fifth prizes are $50 and sixth through tenth prizes are $25. This year Steamer beanie babies will also be given away.
Last year’s winner was Ethan Cushion of Tyrone, and he is back this year to defend his title as “Giggle-off champ.”
Blaska said a big crowd always turns out for the Giggle-off contest. He said in the past, it has ranked in the top 10 games for attendance for Curve baseball games. Also, next year they are already planning another Giggle-off contest.
“Hopefully, we’ll get good weather and a great, enthusiastic crowd to urge the kids on,” said Blaska.