Three ladies received titles Saturday evening while competing in the first Popcorn Festival of Clay County Scholarship Pageant. Heather Palmer (left), 18, was crowned queen. She is the recipient of a $500 scholarship. ChCarra Yockey (center), 18, received the first runner-up title and a $300 scholarship. Melissa Medearis (right), 21, received the second runner-up title and a $200 scholarship.
Nine girls competed in the first, ever, Popcorn Festival of Clay County Scholarship Pageant Saturday evening at Traditions.
Abby Bergman, winner of the 2006 Indiana State Festivals Association Scholarship Pageant, was on hand to present sashes, bouquets and the queen's crown.
Contestants were scored in three categories: Answering questions during a personal interview with the judges prior to the event, evening gown competition and the answer to a hand-picked, unique question.
After careful deliberation, the judges (Gail Redenbacher Tuminello, Diane House and Lisa Allen) announced the winners. Tuminello is the daughter of Orville Redenbacher, in whose honor the festival is held each year, House works for HI-99 radio and Allen is the reigning Miss Indiana State University.
The second runner-up was Melissa Medearis. Along with her title, she received a $200 scholarship. She is the 21-year-old daughter of Gail and Scott Kashon and Mark and Donna Medearis.
The question Medearis drew during the competition was: "If you could slip into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why?" Her response was: "I think I would probably slip into the President's shoes because I want to see what it's like. I want to see what he's doing and how he's working things out because (I want) to see what everyone is giving him such a hard time about. Because it can't be that easy...so stepping into his shoes is something that I would like to try."
The first runner-up was ChCarra Yockey. Along with her title, she received a $300 scholarship. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Molly and Gary McKenzie.
The question Yockey drew during the competition was: "If you could go back in history and witness one moment in time, what would it be and why?" Her response was: "I would witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence, because it states what America is and what we all stand for."
Heather Palmer was named the queen. Along with her title, she received a $500 scholarship. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Mike and Kathy Palmer.
The question Palmer drew during the competition was,"What is your definition of success?" Her response was,"My definition of success is not having money or having material things. It's being happy and having a happy and healthy family--and a family that you could look forward to going home to."
The queen will move on to compete at the state level during the 2007 Indiana State Festivals Association Scholarship Pageant.
"We think our girl has a really good shot at the state level," said Popcorn Festival of Clay County President Evelyn Brown.
"We were extremely pleased," Brown said about the contestants and turnout for the event. "We hope (the pageant) will be an annual event."
The nine girls competing for the representation of Clay County were: Kaleigh Bennett, Kacy Cooksey, Callie Froderman, Kelsey Haring, Kaitlyn Lawson, Brittney Spugnardi, Palmer, Yockey and Medearis.
The Popcorn Festival Committee thanks Dianna Knox, Diana Lancaster, Jane Krecker and Janice Cox for putting in time to make the pageant successful.
Next year, the committee hopes more ladies will participate in the pageant.