Baltimore County— Two Baltimore County women came home major winners at this year’s state fair; an accomplishment they are very familiar with.
Dotty Christi and Linda Mooney have both been submitting their work to the Maryland state fair for many years.
Dotty is known for her photography but she also makes award winning candies, cakes, decorations, and flower arrangements. She first started submitting a single photo taken from a disposable camera 19 years ago to the fair and hasn’t stoped since.
“You do it once and you get hooked,” Christi said, “it’s like a fever.”
However, this year was more difficult than past years for Dotty to produce award winning work.
“This has been the hardest year yet for me. I was really busy with real estate and you can’t just throw things together. You have to really take time to make quality work.”
Despite the road blocks, Christi won 21 prizes at the state fair, including two grand champion prizes. She also received first place for both of her pictures. One is of alligators at a zoo and the other is of a carousel that Christi edited in Photoshop to create vibrant, psychedelic colors.
“I get so much satisfaction from it because I put so much time into it,” Christi said. “I don’t care about the money at all.”
Mooney doesn’t care about the prize money either. In fact, she has spent her prize money on buying new plants she can work on for future competitions or to plant in her yard. She is especially known for her roses.
“My mother taught me, so it’s in the family. Little children will come to my yard and ask if they can take home some roses to their parents and I always let them if they ask,” Mooney said.
Mooney said many commercial florists don’t grow flowers like hers because they have breed flowers to be bigger and more vibrant in color, which causes the flowers to loose much of their scents.
Mooney recalls one day when her flowers beautiful scent helped make a persons day a little brighter.
“I will give flowers to neighbors or family members if they are sick or if it’s their birthday. I was in the hospital one day and a women came up to me and asked if she could give her mother, who was on her death bed, one of my flowers. I gave her some roses and her mom kept saying how good they smelled.”
On top of making others happy, Mooney’s flowers were able to win 37 awards at this years fair, including six grand champion awards.
“This is the most grand prize awards I’ve ever received,” Mooney said. “I usually take home a total of around 20 awards but this year I got a lot more.”
Christi and Mooney both plan on continuing their hobbies and entering in next year’s state fair, even if some days they don’t feel like putting forth the effort.
“Some days I wonder why I spend so much time doing it but when I am out in my yard I feel better,” Mooney said. “ Once the fair starts to come around again I always sign up because otherwise I feel like all my work goes to waste.”
Along with Christi and Mooney, our Regional Editor B. Rae Perryman also took home a ribbon from this year’s state fair. Perryman was awarded honorable mention of a photograph she took of the Chesapeake Bay in Oxford, Md.