Five candidates competing for the title of Sweet Corn Festival Queen, left to right, are Savannah Wade, Brittney Miers, Alexandra Tavlas, Ashlyn Kennedy and Michaela DeLong. (Photo courtesy of Setchell Studio)
MENDOTA – Practice sessions for this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant are underway under the direction of pageant chairpersons, Michelle Barkman, Monica Zimmerlein and Abby Barker.
The candidates have recently practiced stage presence and poise with Barker, the 2009 Sweet Corn Festival Queen. The candidates will be judged on general appearance, charm, poise, personality, posture and delivery in speaking. They will also be evaluated on knowledge, character, attitude and maturity.
The pageant judges will meet with the candidates for the first time at the Pageant Tea, where interviews with each of the girls will take place. The Tea is Friday, Aug. 9, prior to the pageant that evening.
Here are five more hopefuls for 2013 Sweet Corn Festival Queen.
The Mendota Community Theatre has selected Savannah Wade to be their contestant in the Queen Pageant. She is the daughter of Gabe and Michelle Wade of Mendota. Savannah stands five feet, three inches tall and has blonde hair and blue eyes.
She graduated from Mendota High School this spring, where she was very active in choir. She was a member of Concert Choir for three years, Treble Choir for one year and performed in Madrigals for three years. Savannah also was a member of the MHS Show Choir all four years. She was a member of the MHS Concert Band and performed in the high school musicals. Savannah also helped as the MHS wrestling team manager for two years.
Savannah plans on attending Monmouth College in the fall, where she will be active in choir, participating in chamber and ensembles as well as a member of Monmouth’s “Sassy Lassies,” an a capella singing group. She is seeking a double major in vocal performance and theatre.
This summer you will find Savannah performing in the MCT Summer Musical and helping out with the MHS marching band camp. She is also working at the Yogi Bear Campground in Amboy and The Dairy Barn in Mendota.
Savannah’s hobbies include playing piano, dancing, writing songs and learning guitar. Outside of her hobbies she enjoys performing and singing in front of people.
Her future plans include becoming a Broadway performer, acting and singing.
Savannah says she is a very outgoing and bubbly person. She is willing to work hard for what she wants, because there is no reason to give up.
Brittney Miers will represent Mendota Area Senior Services in this year’s Queen Pageant. She is the daughter of James and Dawn Miers of Mendota. Brittney is five foot, five inches tall and has red hair and brown eyes.
A May 2013 graduate of Mendota High School, Brittney was a member of the MHS Band, Concert Choir and Jazz Choir, receiving first and second place awards at IHSA Solo & Ensemble Competition. She was a member of the Flag Corps, serving as Captain her senior year. She also participated in the MHS Theatre group. She earned first place in Poetry Reading at the Spanish Cultural Competition. Brittney was a Mendota High School Class of 2013 Valedictorian, an Illinois State Scholar, and Presidential Academic Award recipient, as well as the recipient of the PFLAG Sauk Valley Scholarship upon graduation.
Brittney plans to attend the Chicago campus of Roosevelt University in the fall, where she plans to be active in RU Proud, LGBT civil rights group. Brittney is seeking a Master of Arts in Psychology, specializing in child psychology and gender identity.
Brittany is self-employed. She spends time studying the stock market and investing in stocks. Her hobbies are playing the bassoon, sewing, flag & rifle drill, reading and writing poetry, and novels.
Brittany’s plans for the future are to earn a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University, become a certified child psychologist and gender therapist. She wants to work with children and teens at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Gender Identity Clinic.
Brittany’s major interests are LGBT rights, women’s rights, gender studies, how the brain works, and psychopharmacology and world religions.
Brittany says she prefers to live by the idea that hatred should not be combated with hatred, but with love. She believes that hatred and intolerance can be killed with kindness.
Alexandra Tavlas will represent the Mendota Moose Family Center in this year’s pageant. She is the daughter of Christa Mastny of Mendota and the late Thomas Tavlas. Alexandra stands five feet, seven inches tall and has brown hair and blue eyes.
Having graduated from Mendota High School in May, Alexandra was a member of the MHS volleyball, softball, basketball and bowling teams. She was a member of the yearbook committee, and participated in marching and concert bands while at MHS. She attained honor roll for six semesters and was selected to the National Honor Society.
Alexandra plans to attend Northern Illinois University in the fall and participate in the Huskie Marching Band. She will be seeking a bachelor degree in psychology.
This summer you will find her spending time with her friends and working at the Downtown Bar & Grill as a waitress. Alexandra’s hobbies are painting, drawing, playing the tuba and clarinet, reading and exercising.
Her plans for the future include becoming a psychiatrist and eventually starting a family.
Alexandra enjoys movies, sports, traveling, and learning about other cultures. She likes to help people and give advice. Alexandra hopes to make a positive influence on people’s lives.
Mendota Hospital Foundation and Auxiliary has selected Ashlyn Kennedy as their candidate for Queen Pageant. She is the daughter of Tim and Kim Kennedy of Mendota. Ashlyn stands five feet, six inches stall and has blonde hair and blue eyes.
She is a 2013 graduate of Mendota High School, where she served as yearbook editor and on the Student Council. She was an Honor Roll student, a member of Varsity Club as well as a Business Office and Principal’s Office worker. Ashlyn was a member of the MHS bowling, volleyball, basketball and softball teams.
She plans to attend Carthage College in the fall, and play softball for her school. She is seeking a degree in Special Education.
This summer you will find Ashlyn working as a secretary for Illinois Frame Truck and Trailer Service in Mendota. She will also be taking trips to Chicago to go to the beach, and spending a lot of time with friends and family before going off to college.
Her hobbies include playing sports, boating, exploring, traveling, babysitting and exercise. She has a special interest in helping children learn and in learning other languages, such as Spanish and sign language.
Ashlyn’s plans for the future include becoming a Special education teacher and being successful.
Ashlyn says being in the Sweet Corn Queen Pageant means a lot to her. She remembers the pageant from when she was little, looking up at all of the girls in their dresses, and now she will have that chance to be one of them up on that stage.
Michaela DeLong has been chosen by the Mendota Quarterback Club to be their representative in this year’s pageant. She is the daughter of Michael and Janet DeLong of Mendota. Michaela stands five feet, seven inches tall and has brown hair and brown eyes.
A May graduate of Mendota High School, Michaela was a member of the tennis, basketball, bowling and softball teams. Michaela participated in band and choir while at MHS. She is an Illinois State Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. Michaela is the 2013 Class Salutatorian and received the DAR Award upon graduation.
Michaela plans to attend Judson University in the fall and major in music business.
This summer you will find her playing tennis, filming music videos and spending time with her friends. She also works at the Dairy Barn, making delicious ice cream.
Her hobbies include photography and film, playing piano, singing, writing her own music and playing sports.
Michaela’s plans for the future include becoming a successful musical artist, performing her own original songs and those of her brothers.
Michaela enjoys having fun.