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Friday, May 6, 2016

Queen uses past to build confidence

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

After two consecutive years as second runner up for Clay County Fair Queen, Holli Moore, 20, was delighted to win the crown this year. Though she was "pleasantly shocked" to receive second runner up in both 2011 and 2010, Moore knew that her preparedness and confidence in herself during the 2012 pageant was the key to winning. In fact, confidence has been the key during many important events in her life.

At the age of 5, Moore was mauled by a dog and received damage to the left side of her face because of the attack. After undergoing several reconstructive surgeries, Moore's confidence waned.

"It was hard when I was going through all of those surgeries to feel completely sure of myself," she explained.

Clay County 4-H Queen Holli Moore hands out ribbons following the 2012 Rabbit barbecue contest Monday. [Order this photo]
But Moore describes herself as cheerful and said that during those difficult times, she tried her best to put a smile on her face.

"I don't really look at anything negatively," she said. "I always try to find a positive. I think because of my past I learned to do that."

Moore wasn't planning on entering the pageant in 2012 until she spoke with Eva Ritchey, her speech professor at Lake Land University in Illinois, where Moore spent her freshman year.

"After giving my speech in class about what I went through as a child with the dog attack," Moore explained, "my speech teacher encouraged me to share my story with others and to enter the fair pageant and share it there as well."

Moore's teacher even encouraged her to reach out to Riley Hospital. In the future, Moore hopes to visit Riley and talk to children in the burn unit or other units about feeling confident in the face of medical problems.

"I want them to hear my story and know that they won't always face those problems and that eventually they'll feel better, like I did," she explained. "I want to build them up and show them that they can still be confident even in difficult situations."

Moore felt more confident going into this year's competition than in years past.

"In past years, I was focused on doing things right," she said, "but this year I focused more on just being myself and letting the judges get to know me more. I knew that if I was just myself and didn't worry so much about doing everything right, that I could win."

Moore said that the judges were focused on really getting to know the girls in the pageant.

"They wanted to know a lot about us," she said, "so it gave me an opportunity to tell my story. There's a lot of pressure to give answers that will really show who you are, rather than giving an answer that you think they may want to hear."

For six years, Moore showed horses, goats, sheep and pigs at the Greene County Fair.

Now a resident of Clay County, Moore feels honored to be a part of the Clay County Fair and to represent the fair as its Queen.

"There's a lot of togetherness at the Clay County Fair," she said. "Everyone was very welcoming and several people, including the Van Horn family and Diana Knox, the pageant director, made sure they were right there to help me."

In the fall, Moore will transfer to Indiana State University, where she plans on majoring in criminal justice.

"Even though many people think it's a male's profession," Moore stated, "I want to be a youth probation officer. I want to help end the cycle of crime that so many young people go through."

Moore also hopes to continue one of her favorite hobbies by playing volleyball on an ISU club team in the fall.

Moore will represent Clay County at the Indiana State Fair in August, and feels honored to represent this county.

"It's an honor to be in this position," she said. "I just love being here."

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