Queen candidates help Chamber at fireworks show

Three contestants in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant, left to right, are Tiffany Preston, Abby Phalen and Reiss Buettner. (Photo courtesy of Setchell Studio)

MENDOTA – This year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Contestants have been kept very busy. The girls gave a helping hand to the Mendota Chamber during the 4th of July Fireworks event.

All of the 15 candidates in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant set for Friday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. will be receiving Mendota Gift Certificates. The certificates are gifts from Mendota Chamber member businesses who are participating in the Mendota SCF Queen Gift Certificate Program. The gift certificates are redeemable for goods and merchandise in participants businesses. The Chamber would like to thank those members who have participated. 

Now let’s introduce three more pageant hopefuls.

Tiffany Preston is the choice of the Mendota Museum and Historical Society for this year’s pageant.  She is the daughter of Jeff and Kerry Preston of Mendota. She has blue eyes and blonde hair and stands 5-3.

A graduate of Mendota High School, Preston was active in cross country for three years, and track, bowling, and dance team for one year. She was an honor roll student for three years and an officer worker for one year while at MHS. She also participated in the Polar Plunge and worked the Special Olympic snowshoe race. Outside of school, she has been a competitive dancer for four years.

Preston plans on attending Western Michigan University in the fall and will be seeking a degree in Early Education. She eventually she desires to be a Kindergarten teacher.

This summer you will find her working at the Van Buren Youth Camp, working in the kitchen and helping with campers. Preston’s hobbies include swimming, running, and dancing. She also likes to do arts and crafts, and enjoys spending time with friends and family and playing with her pets.

Preston would like to share that she comes from a family with three sets of twins including a set of twin brothers, twin cousins, and she herself is a twin with her brother Tyler.

Abby Phalen will be representing the Mendota Quarterback Club in the pageant. She is the daughter of Tim and Jan Phalen of Mendota. She stands 5-9 and has blonde hair and green eyes.

Phalen graduated from Mendota High School this spring, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Math Team. She was an honor student for all eight semesters. She also competed in Academic Challenge for all four years. She was very athletic and played on the volleyball team for four years and was a captain for two years. She also participated in basketball and track all four years and was a captain for both teams her senior year. Phalen was chosen as an Illinois State Scholar and as class secretary during this past year at MHS. She also received the non-heritage Spanish speaking award, the Kilmartin Award and many others.

She plans to attend Augustana College in the fall, where she will be a member of the women’s volleyball team. Phalen is planning to double major in biology and Spanish and intends to specialize in medicine. Eventually she would like to go to medical school and get her Doctorate degree. One day she hopes to open her own practice.

This summer you will find her working as a camp counselor at the Mendota YMCA, working day camp, after care, and coaching sports camps for kids. She also looks forward to spending time with her family and friends before heading off to college this fall.

Phalen enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, and going to the gym. She also likes watching movies and listening to music. She adds that she loves to travel and see the world. She is fascinated learning about new cultures and the way others live.

Phalen considers herself to be a kind, outgoing, and hardworking person who loves working with people.

The Mendota Area YMCA has selected Reiss Buettner as its candidate in this year’s pageant. Buettner is the daughter of Doug and Allison Buettner of Mendota. She is 5-3 and has brown hair and blue eyes.

Buettner is a May 2018 graduate of Mendota High School where she played softball all four years. She also participated in volleyball and bowling for three years, and tennis her senior year. She was a member of Student Council and Spanish Club while at MHS. She was also an eight-semester honor roll student and worked in the school office for all four years. Buettner was elected as class secretary and received the Kilmartin Award this year.

Buettner will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the fall. She is seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in health science, specializing in nuclear medicine. Her goal is to pursue a career with her degree and to possibly start a family one day.

This summer you will find Buettner working at the front counter of Sip n’ Snack, where she takes orders and works the cash register. She will also be spending time with family and friends.

Buettner enjoys being outdoors and going on hikes. Any opportunity that she gets, she also loves going to the city.


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