Playboy's 2008 Model of The Year Has A Funspot Connection
Northfield Native Comes Back Home To Visit Family
by Brendan Smith
Where would you expect to find Jillian Beyor, Playboy’s 2008 Model of The Year, vacationing on a cool day in mid-October? An island in the Caribbean? A yacht off the Florida Keys? Try the Funspot Family Entertainment Center in the Weirs.
It wasn’t by accident that this stunning beauty, who has graced the covers of magazines from all over the world, made a trip to Funspot. Not only is Jillian from New Hampshire but she is related to Funspot owner and General Manager, Bob Lawton.
“She’s the granddaughter of my step-brother Bruce “Butch” Thompson,”explains Lawton. “My mother married Butch‘s father in 1952 and we developed an immediate liking for each other.”
“Bob took me under his wing from the start,” Butch fondly remembers. Bob taught water-skiing in the summer at the Weirs from 1952 to 1960 and Butch was always there helping out.
“Butch moved down to Florida and in 1983 we partnered on a Funspot in Port Richey,” said Lawton. “In 1988 I sold my interest in the business to Butch as I focused on other areas here in New Hampshire.”
Butch changed the name to Stop N Play. He ran it for several years until taking ill. He sold the business and moved back to Northfield where he lives today.
“He and his wife, Jean, come for a visit to Funspot whenever they can it’s always great to see them. Before this visit he warned us that he was bringing a special guest,” he laughed.
Jillian grew up in Northfield and attended Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton.
“I graduated High School in 2004 and then moved to Daytona Beach, Florida to go to college,” Jillian said. “I wanted to live somewhere warm after growing up in Northfield.”
Jillian was setting out to get a degree in communications but things certainly took a change.
“Even when I was a little girl I always thought about being a model.” said Jillian.
While in Florida, Jillian did some waitressing and it was there she was seen by someone from Hawaiian Tropic who asked if she’d be interested in working for them. She did in 2005. She soon became one of their top ten models.
It was while doing a Hawaiian Tropic photo shoot that Jillian made her Playboy connection.
“The photographer asked me if I’d be interested in Playboy,” said Jillian. “I never really thought about it before. He sent in my pictures and they called me soon after that and I’ve been working for them ever since.”
In fact, Jillian was Miss March 2007 and then was Playboy’s Model of The Year for 2008. She was selected by readers of the magazine for the honor.
Next up for Jillian was an appearance on Season Five of the CW show “Beauty and The Geek” a reality show that pairs MENSA-worthy geeks with beautiful women. Jillian only made it to the third week on the show and missed out on the $250,000 prize. Still, she developed quite a following.
When Jillian came to Funspot with her grandparents she had just returned from a photo shoot in Europe.
“When I was growing up here I never really went anywhere. My parents would maybe take vacations in Maine and Vermont. Now, I’m traveling all over the place.” Said Jillian.
Jillian has graced the covers of magazines like Maxim UK, People Magazine of Australia and Max Magazine in Mexico. She’s also been on the cover of Stare Magazine which is a worldwide online publication featuring bikini and lingerie models.
Even after all the success and attention she’s received over the past couple of years Jillian still retains her small town perspective and her love for New Hampshire.
“It really has been a lot of fun and I love every minute of what I do,’ said Jillian. “And even with all my traveling I’m never sad to come home.”
Jillian has a great website, www.jillian-beyor.com, that keeps an up to date portfolio of the local girl made good. She also maintains a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/jillianbeyor). She’s always happy to hear from people from her hometown.