A group of three men who built a lighthouse with a popular children\u2019s movie character attached to it are currently looking for community support to help take home a prize of $1,500. Shelton residents Charlie Kestler and his neighbor\/friend Roy Glover, along with Kestler\u2019s son-in-law Connor Rieve of Bethel, have entered what they\u2019re calling the \u201cMinion Point Lighthouse\u201d in the 15th annual Festival of Lighthouses contest. Last year Kestler teamed up with Glover to create their more traditional looking lighthouse called \u201cPecks Ledge Light,\u201d but this year they took a more \u201cwhimsical\u201d approach. This is Kestler\u2019s sixth time competing in the competition, Glover\u2019s second time and Rieve\u2019s first time. Kestler said he has made all six of his lighthouses in Glover\u2019s garage and it wasn\u2019t until last year that he asked Glover, who is quite the handyman, to join him in the building process. The relationship of Glover, 95, and Kestler has evolved from that of neighbors to friends who are teammates. Kestler said the look on Glover\u2019s face while working on the lighthouse and when he saw the final product was \u201cpriceless.\u201d A whimsical approach? It was Rieve\u2019s idea to make this year\u2019s lighthouse a minion-themed one, and Kestler said the out-of-the-box thinking could potentially benefit them in the results of the contest. \u201cHe likes minions, what else can I say,\u201d joked Kestler. \u201cThe lighthouses can be humorous or a regular lighthouse, but I\u2019ve been making regular lighthouses for the past five years and haven\u2019t won yet. When people come to see the display, a lot of the time people, especially kids, will walk by the more traditional lighthouses. Maybe with a character they know attached to it they\u2019ll be more likely to enjoy the display. Other people have made whimsical ones, so I thought, \u2018Hey let\u2019s try it."That\u2019s when Rieve made his suggestion for the theme and it got tricky.\u201cWe weren\u2019t exactly sure how to make a little minion tall enough to be a lighthouse, so we figured we\u2019d put one minion on the other one\u2019s shoulders and then incorporate Christmas lights and we called it a lighthouse.\u201d The building process\/competition Kestler said Glover was responsible for building the lower halves of both minions, and to the rest of the group\u2019s surprise he loved the concept. Rieve, who is a plumber, made the actual lighthouse pole out of PVC pipe. Kestler helped with the entire display. Rules of the Festival of Lighthouses contest are kept to a minimum to allow for the creator\u2019s maximum creativity. Lighthouses must be three to six feet tall and have a working light, and may not include animal remains, such as shells, or food items. Beyond that, it\u2019s up to the creators\u2019 imaginations. Lighthouses in the 2016 contest were made out of everything from wood, paper and stone to wine corks, glass, candle wax, Legos, and Popsicle sticks. This all-new display works like a juried art show except that thousands of Maritime Aquarium visitors are the jury. Everyone who comes to the South Norwalk family attraction from Nov. 19 through Jan. 16 receives a ballot and the chance to vote for their favorite. The lighthouse that gets the most votes wins $1,500, $750 for second place, $300 for third, and $150 for fourth. A separate vote on Facebook will earn $500 for first place. Winners will be announced at an evening reception on Jan. 19. Seeing \u2014 and voting for \u2014 the lighthouses is free with aquarium admission. \u201cAs always, there will be disagreements over which lighthouse is the best, but there\u2019s no debate that the lighthouses add a fun, creative, festive feel to the aquarium through the holidays that is greatly appreciated,\u201d said Thomas Frankie, the aquarium\u2019s exhibits manager. Entering the annual contest seems to be an addiction for some: 10 of this year\u2019s 13 entrants are return competitors; many of them are \u201cregulars.\u201d Contestants this year come from Connecticut (including Norwalk, Darien, Bethel, Bridgeport, Danbury, and Shelton) and New York (including Hartsdale, Yonkers, and Pine Bush, which is north of Middletown). Sixth year of the tradition Kestler said the annual event is a new tradition for himself, Glover and Rieve that he looks forward to continuing in the future. \u201cI used to love coming to the Maritime Center to look at all of the displays, and then I saw the lighthouses there one year and found out that anyone could submit one to the contest,\u201d said Kestler. \u201cI got excited because I have a passion for building models. One of my hobbies was building model trains and tugboats, and I thought that this kind of fit in.\u201d Kestler wouldn\u2019t say that he thinks his lighthouse is the best, but he did say he thinks his lighthouse submission for this year was one of the nicest he\u2019s seen so far on display. \u201cI think it\u2019s nice, I think we can win something. But if we don\u2019t win anything, I\u2019m still going to enter again next year,\u201d said Kestler. The minion lighthouse, along with a dozen or so competing lighthouses, will be on display until Jan. 19 and you can vote for it at the aquarium or on Facebook at https:\/\/www.facebook.com\/maritime.aquarium\/.