FONTANA — The once-nameless Fontana frog mascot now does not have just one name. It has seven names.
The Fontana Public Library held an open house May 11 for everything frog to conclude its Fabulous Fontana Frog Contest.
About 150 patrons showed up at the library.
The frog naming contest was organized by the library and by Nick and Lydia Pastiu, who owns the frog statue as part of his storefront business, Nick’s Upholstery, 543 Valley View Drive.
But Nick Pastiu said he still was not ready to select the winner of the frog naming contest.
A final name will be selected this summer.
“It’s a work in progress,” he said.
The Pastius selected the following seven names as the best.
Norma Gowlett, a library staff member who helped organize the contest, announced the top seven entries as follows:
• First place: “Frogtana,” submitted by Kelly Douglas’ second-grade class at Fontana Elementary School, and also by Dylan Goetsch and Trudy Schubert.
• Second place: “Funtana,” submitted by Kelly Otten.
• Third place: “Hoppytana” by Trudy Schubert.
• Fourth place (tie), “Frederick of Fontana” by Carol Logterman; “Freddy” by Kenny Fryer; and “Fred” by Gavin Baxter and Hailey Frahler.
• Fifth place: “Weston” by Matilda Snyder.
In Douglas’ second-grade class, every student got behind their “Frogtana” entry. The students took a list of names and then voted on the one they liked most.
It was Dylan Goetsch’s suggestion, “Frogtana,” that won the most votes.
“Well, we were given a frog and we’re in Fontana,” Dylan said, explaining his fusion name.
In addition to selecting a name, the class also created a book of Frogtana’s adventures in Fontana, with each student writing a page.
The book is on display at the library.
With “Frogtana” as the leading name for the frog, the library awarded the class with a frog pillow pet. The plush frog, now embroidered with the name Frogtana, folds out into a pillow kids can lean back on while reading.
“It was a fun project,” Kelly said.
Gowlett said the library received 258 entries, many accompanied by stories, poems, illustrations and other extras. Thirty-four of the poems and stories were compiled in a booklet entitled “Frog Hollow.”
Other gifts and awards were handed out to winners and participants, including ceramic frog bowls and ceramic frogs.
The ceramic bowls and frogs were created by Frank Breneisen, who owns a business called, appropriately enough, Frog Hollow Pottery,
Fontana was once called Frog Hollow, because of a large marsh on the edge of town which was home to a large community of frogs. That marsh is now occupied by The Abbey Resort & Spa.
The frog artwork is on display at the library until the end of May.
At 14 feet tall, dark green, with a worldly-wise stare, the frog statue has been perched since 1964 on Valley View Drive, also known as state Highway 67.
Before becoming a community icon, the frog was part of a miniature golf course and then used as a concession stand.