There are 14 contestants this year for the Ripley County Queen pageant. Becky Harmeyer, one of the organizers of the event, told The Versailles Republican she's glad she's not a judge. "We can always tell the front runners, but this year, all 14 are 'wow!" It would be awful to be the judge!"
The annual pageant will be held at the Osgood Damm Theater on Sunday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. Last year's county queen, Michaela Grunkemeyer , will crown the new queen. The winner and court will reign over the county fair July 21-27.
The young women have met several times in preparation for the pageant. One of the highlights of the event is the Queen's Tea and slumber party, held this year at Harmeyer's home on June 14. Mock interviews were then held June 26 at the Osgood Town Hall. The contestants got a chance to sharpen their interviewing skills and prepare for a question that will be presented to each the night of the pageant. Contestants are judged on professional wear, formal wear and on personal interview. State Fair queen Mariah Huff attended and emphasized to the contestants to "clean up their facebook pages" because future employers, even judges may view those.
Here is a brief bio of the 14 contestants.
Kiersten Abel, Osgood
She is the daughter of Tricia White and David Abel. Kiersten will be a senior this fall at Jac-Cen-Del High School.
Activities: Softball, Four-wheeling and fishing
Sponsor(s): White Farms
Kristen Bailey, Versailles
She is the daughter of Jason and Katie Bailey and will be a senior at South Ripley High School.
Activities: Fishing, bonfires, hanging out with friends and going to church.
Sponsors: Luke and Kayleigh Prather, Lawn Care and Moore Maintenance and Jason and Katie Bailey
Rachael Bush, Cross Plains
She is the daughter of Mike and Patty Bush. Rachael will be a senior this fall at South Ripley High School.
Activities: Reading, dancing, volleyball, basketball and twirling.
Laura Detmer, Osgood
She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Sandra Detmer. She will be a senior at Jac- Cen- Del High School
Activities: Volleyball, horseback riding, quad riding, skeet shooting, swimming, hanging out with friends and spending time with family.
Sponsor: Trackside Pizza
Taylor DeWitt, Versailles
Taylor is the daughter of Angie Tinker and Gary DeWitt and she will be a freshman at Ivy Tech Community College.
Activities: Playing and coaching softball, babysitting and spending time with friends and family.
Sponsor: Odyssey Full Service Salon
Kendra Franklin, Holton
Kendra is the daughter of Mark and Carla Franklin and will be a junior at South Ripley High School.
Activities: Singing, dancing, helping people, school, cross country, track and field, and spending time with friends and family.
Sponsor: Nebraska Church of God
Tapanga Gauck, Milan
She is the daughter of Bart and Tammy Gauck. Tapanga will be a junior at Milan High School
Activities: Reading, basketball, tennis, drill team, singing and helping children.
Sponsor(s): T& T Tire Removal
Isabella is the daughter of Vince and Laurie Gramaglia, and she will be a junior at South Ripley High School
Activities: Cross Country, track, majorettes, band, watching South Ripley's basketball team, working at Dairy Queen in Versailles, scrapbooking, reading and writing.
Sponsor: Federmann and Sons Plumbing
Brooke Hartman, Sunman
Brooke is the daughter of Cindy and Joe Volk and Randy and Robin Hartman. She will be a senior at Batesville High School.
Activities: Photography, scrapbooking, running track, snow skiing, participating in school musicals and plays, baking and decorating desserts, hiking, traveling with family, singing, writing music, playing the piano, observing at local hospitals for the benefit of her future career and long walks on the beach.
Sponsor: Volk Enterprises
Katelyn Huffman, Milan
Katelyn is the daughter of Scott and Renee Huffman. She will be a freshman at Indiana State University.
Activities: Listening to music and hanging out with friends.
Sponsor:Huffman Fall Market
Katilyn Miller, Batesville
She is the daughter of Ceil and Jerry Miller. Katilyn will be a freshman at the University of Southern Indiana.
Activities: Very involved in 4-H, photography, horseback riding and barrel racing.
Sponsor: Heartwood Mfg.
Erin Moll, Batesville
She is the daughter of Jerry and Brenda Moll. Erin will be a sophomore at Franklin College.
Activities: Taking care of her animals at the family farm, spending time with her family and friends and helping others
Sponsor: Honey Suckle Farms
Brenna is the daughter of Ann Lesko and the late Brent Sarringhaus. Brenna will be junior at IUPUI this fall.
Activities: Reading, cooking, running, doing zumba and riding quads.
Sponsor: KADS Kids
Courtney Smith, Osgood
She is the daughter of Dan and Denise Smith. Courtney will be a sophomore this fall at Purdue University.
Activities: Attending sporting events and volunteering with the clubs she is involved with; also helping others and spending time with friends and family.
Sponsor: DLS Sheet Metal and Welding