A St. Clair High School student was crowned queen at the Franklin County Fair Thursday night, June 7.
Alexis Turner, 17, will be a senior this fall at St. Clair High School. She is a member of the St. Clair FFA Chapter.
Her parents are Tina and Travis Turner.
After high school, Turner plans to join the military and become a veterinarian.
“It’s really shocking because I’ve never done anything like this before,” said Turner after being crowned queen.
“I feel like I put hard work in and got something great out of it,” she said. “I’m shocked and happy at the same time.”
Turner added that she will encourage other girls to sign up for the queen contest because she’s enjoyed getting involved.
She will receive an $800 scholarship.
Turner was sponsored by Gratzer Brothers Construction LLC, Tres Toritos Mexican Restaurant, All Painting Pro, St. Clair Save-A-Lot, Sinks Pharmacy and the St. Clair High School Key Club.
Jenna Straatmann, 18, Union, was named first runner-up in the contest. She is a recent homeschool graduate and member of the Flying Eagles 4-H Club.
Her parents are Dale and Diane Straatmann.
Straatmann was sponsored by Chimney Dusters Chimney Cleaning.
In the fall, she plans to attend Cornell College to study political science. She will receive a $300 scholarship.
Straatmann said it felt “awesome” when she was crowned first runner-up.
“It was lovely to be with these other ladies and have this experience,” she added.
Tori Holland, 17, won second runner-up and the Miss Congeniality title. She is a recent graduate of Union High School. Her parents are Vic and Vickie Holland.
Holland, who will receive a $300 scholarship, is a member of the Jefferiesburg 4-H and the Union FFA Chapter.
In the fall, she plans to attend State Technical College.
She was sponsored by Beaufort Ag Supply and 4A Angus Farms.
Holland said she was excited to win both titles.
“Miss Congeniality is my favorite because I always try to be good,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be Congeniality. It’s been a dream.”
The other contestant was Andrea Holdmeyer, 17, who will be a senior at Washington High School this fall. Her parents are Alex and Diane Holdmeyer.
Holdmeyer is a member of the Campbellton Livestock 4-H Club and Washington FFA Chapter.
She was sponsored by Mary Feth, M.D., Bank of Washington, Dave Nelson, Agri-Crafts, LLC, Shear Design Salon and Joe’s Barber.
The contest consisted of an orientation, an essay contest, a community service project and a citizenship/leadership resume.
Straatmann won the Exemplary Essay Contest Award. The essay theme was “I can be the change I want to see.”
She wrote about her struggle with anxiety and depression.
“Making it through the day until I could finally go back to sleep was like a ticking clock that went too slow,” Straatmann said.
She then found strength from a quote by Helen Keller: “Happiness is a state of mind and it depends very little on outward circumstances.”
Straatmann said that the quote means she has control over her happiness and control over any change she wants to see.
“The biggest change that has been important to me is to not only strive for my happiness, but to influence others,” she said, adding she used to feel uncomfortable walking in a room full of people.
Now, Straatmann said, not only will she walk in a room, she will mingle with others and include those who may seem shy.
“By me reaching out to them, it may help them foster a change within themselves,” she said.
The Elizabeth Harashe Community Service Award was presented to Holland. All four contestants collected 1,309 items that went to Loving Hearts, St. Francis Borgia Food Pantry and the Leslie Food Pantry. Holland collected more than 700 items.
The contestants also sold Fair tickets. The top ticket seller was Turner, who sold $230 worth of tickets. All four contestants sold a total of $600 worth of tickets.
The queen committee included Dave Hileman, Heather Silvey, Hannah Smith, Robin Hileman and Elizabeth Friedel.
The judges were Marcie Rucker, Lonedell, Rachel Purschke, Beaufort, and Dorothy Keence, Union.
The contest host, Dave Hileman, said this year’s contest did not have as many contestants as expected.
“Every now and then we have a down year and I think it had to do with the Fair being earlier,” he said. “The girls we had were wonderful. They were very good contestants. The judges told me they had a very hard time with the selection.”