The Hannibal Jaycees' first pee wee fence painting contest for ages 5 to 9 and girls' contest for ages 10 to 13 were a big success, with 35 children registered in the pee wee and 12 in the girls' contest.

The Hannibal Jaycees' first pee wee fence painting contest for ages 5 to 9 and girls' contest for ages 10 to 13 were a big success, with 35 children registered in the pee wee and 12 in the girls' contest.

Both took place Sunday, July 2, before the National Fence Painting. The national event had only four contestants, including the local and state winners from the previous day.

Dawson Behl, 12, of New London, who won the state contest on July 1, was the winner. In addition to several prizes, he received the governor’s trophy, which may be displayed in the state capitol for one year. The trophy is to be returned to Hannibal on the Fourth of July in 2018, when Dawson will be a judge of the contest.

Ben Schwartz, 12, of Hull, Ill., whose brother, Henry, won in 2016, finished the national contest in second place.

Corgan Kramer, 12, who won the local contest on July 1, finished third, and Noah Lusk, 10, of Houston, Texas, fourth.

Girls' winners announced

Mollie Ferrel, 13, of Shakopee, Minn., won the girls' fence painting. Hannah Schindler, 10, of Hannibal, finished second, and Nicole Moore, 11, of New London, third.

Hannah, the daughter of Russell and Jessica Schindler, had prepared for her fence painting debut by practicing her technique but not using paint. Her costume for the judging included a bag full of items such as a mouse, marbles and firecrackers.

Three girls competing had been in the Tomboy Sawyer contest on Saturday. They were the new Tomboy Sawyer Rylee Rodriguez, Sophia Vandiver and Savannah Corey, who both also won contests at that event.

Additional contestants were Alana Lemon, 10, Kaite Locke, 12, and Riah Wigfall, 10, all of Hannibal; Brook Doughty, 11, of New London; Delaney Bowie, 11, of Deer, Ark.; and Megan Boteler, 11, of Liberty, Mo.

Natalie Vandiver wins pee wee contest

The pee wee fence painting contest was won by Natalie Vandiver, 7, the daughter of Kristen and Josh Vandiver of Hannibal.

Second place went to Landon Nichols, 8, of Hannibl, and third to Logan Upchurch, 9, of St. Charles, Mo.

One contestant came from Berkeley, Calif. Moses Trujillo, 8, was visiting his grandparents, Jim and Nettie Antoinette of Macomb, Ill. After competing he said he had never painted anything except pictures. He discovered the brush was heavy, then decided, “Maybe it was the paint.” His family toured Mark Twain Cave on July 1, and his mother especially enjoyed Hannibal's historic homes, reporting, “Mostly I love to see the old buildings in the city.”

Also competing in the pee wee contest were Hannibal youngsters Keegan Gillmore, Wyatt Terrill, Faith Watkins, Eran Dalton, Carlee McCoy, Tuck Danehy, Nathan Tweedy, Cathy Cothern, Allen Saxbury Jr., Zach Locke, Amara Coffey, Rorrie McCoy, Madison Straube, Bella Hayes, Rhett Hayes, and Kayln Butler.

Young fence painters from New London were Noah Hathaway, Jessica Moore and Thomas Moore. Also competing were Michael Fries, Hull, Ill.; Emma Tate, Center, Mo.; Molly Boteler, Liberty, Mo.; Tyrani Cranmer, Thompson, Mo.; Henry Schwartz, Hull, Ill.; Sophia Lusk, Houston, Texas; Connie Janusz, Sedalia, Mo.; and Rowan McDonough, New Lenox, Ill.

Short fences were provided for the pee wee contest. The Jaycees encouraged the crowd to support the company that provided the fences. This was 2x4's for Hope, which had a booth at the fence painting. Its founder, Chris Lawrence, explained to the crowd that each $3 or more donation for a 2x4 board helps build a tiny home for a homeless military veteran. The agency is based in Quincy, Ill., and the website is 2x4forhope.org.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.