Lacy Donovan is the bubble-blowing champion of the Rim country.
The Rim Country Middle School student recently blew the competition away with a 12.5-inch bubble at the preliminaries of the third annual Dubble Bubble National Bubble Blowing Contest at the Payson Wal-Mart Supercenter.
For Donovan, who never considered herself a bubble-blowing aficionado, the win came as a big surprise. Even more surprising was the way she got her biggest bubble recorded.
"We were shopping and I saw this display at the front of the store about the contest and decided to try it," Donovan said. "I blew a six-inch bubble and then I blew a nine-inch bubble and that was the highest."
When Donovan went to the garden department where the family agreed to meet following their shopping excursion, she found herself the first to arrive. She decided to blow a few bubbles while she waited for the rest of her family.
When Donovan's mother, Cory, arrived at the garden department, she noticed a commotion a small group of people gathered around someone.
"I'm thinking, 'Oh my God there's an emergency.' I hurry over there and there's my daughter in the middle of it all with this huge bubble and this woman is telling her kids and my older daughter to run, run go get the lady."
The lady was Lu DeSomma, community involvement coordinator at the Supercenter, who was supervising the bubble blowing competition at the front of the store. As Donovan's face turned a progressively darker shade of red, DeSomma hurried to the garden center with the official Dubble Bubble measuring tongs.
The 12.5-inch bubble solidified her lead and earned her the championship crown. For winning the local competition, Donovan won a Dubble Bubble cap, a certificate of achievement, the Dubble Bubble Bubble Meter tongs used to measure her bubble, and a party for herself and friends thrown by Wal-Mart.
While Donovan admits to being a recreational bubble blower, it's an art form she had never considered on a for-profit basis.
Her mother was also a bubble blower and says Donovan's talent just might run in the family.
"How many of us didn't like chewing bubble gum, especially in school when the teacher said leave it alone," Cory Donovan said.
While Donovan's bubble didn't qualify her for the national round, she plans to practice and be better prepared for next year's competition. And she shared what she considers the crucial strategy for blowing giant bubbles.
"You start with the gum really thick so it won't pop," she said.
The national grand prize is a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond.
The bubble gum company also awards $5,000 bonds to five runners-up, plus donations in the names of the winners to the Children's Miracle Network hospital closest to their respective homes.