by Sandy Houston
The Dayton Fair held the first part of its annual Queen contest at the Marshall House in Dayton this past Sunday. Contestants competed in the contest with an interview, speech, essay, and impromptu question.
The crowning ceremony will be held next Sunday, August 15 at 7:30 PM at the grandstand on the Dayton Fairgrounds. Contestants will wear an evening gown, give an introduction, and tell why the Dayton Fair is meaningful to them.
Last August, Sarah Kasanicky was crowned the 2009 Dayton Fair Queen. A resident of Leechburg, Sarah graduated from Leechburg Area High School in 2008 and currently attends Clarion University where she is majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education.
During Sunday night’s coronation, Kasanicky will pass her crown on to another woman who will carry the title of the 2010 Dayton Fair Queen.
What words of wisdom does she pass on to contestants? “I would like to encourage any girl that dreamed of becoming a princess as a child, and any girl that wants to challenge them, to try something new, or to chase after their dreams to take part in this wonderful experience. It will be something you will never regret; there is nothing else like it!” Kasanicky said.
Before deciding to run for queen, she was very involved in the fair. She participated in the Dayton Livestock 4-H Club serving as an officer for seven years and a teen representative. She showed steers for four years and swine for five years. Her college extracurricular activities include Student Council for Exceptional Children, University activities board, SPSEA, Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, and Relay for Life.
Since being crowned, she has participated in many events to promote the Dayton Fair. She attended the Keystone International Livestock Exposition, Shannock Valley Festivals, Kittanning Light-Up Night, the PA Farm Show, two parades, and the PA State Fair Queen Contest in Hershey. Last night, she appeared on Family-Life TV’s “Talk of the Town” program.
Kasanicky said the serving as the Dayton Fair Queen was like an absolute dream come true. “The most rewarding moment that I got to experience when being queen was to light up the faces of so many children. I loved to let children try on my crown and sash. The little girls just thought this was the greatest thing ever. They would stare up at the large crown that I just placed upon their heads all wide eyed.”
Each contestant must be 16 to 20 years of age and live in Armstrong County or attend a school or 4-H club in the county. There are 5 young women competing for the title of 2010 Dayton Fair Queen.
Jena Drummond, of New Bethlehem, is the 17-year-old daughter of Scott and Shelley Drummond. She participates in the Triple S 4-H Club, Dayton Glade Run Youth Group, Leo Club, Starfish president, SADD, Cross Country, and babysitting.
Morgan Dubensky of Punxsutawney is the 17-year-old daughter of Louis and Rebecca Dubensky. She is an honor graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School, student of the month, Powder Puff Football player, Variety Show ad committee member, vice president of the agriculture club, and the recipient of 2 scholarships. She also helped with Special Olympics, assisted in organizing and planning Ag Day for area students, and played volleyball and softball. She is a member of the Tri-County 4-H club, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, and the Ringgold United Methodist Church Youth Group.
Kelsey Blose of Home is the 18-year-old daughter of Joleen and Steve Lieb and Roger Blose Jr. She graduated with honors and played varsity basketball. In addition, she is a member and officer of the Clover Kids 4H club, student council, business club, SWARM club, FFA, and SADD. She is a FBLA district qualifier, co-director of the school musical program Country Junction, and a Ponderosa employee.
Tiffany Kunselman, of Mayport, is the 17-year-old daughter of Timothy and Deborah Kunselman. She is a member and officer of the Tri-County 4-H Club, attends the Grace Baptist Church and youth group, helps with VBS and children’s church, raises sheep and lambs, and works as a farm hand for Rolling Hills Farm. She is also an award winner of US Achievement Academy, lettered as track star, earned awards in art, music, and health, and participates in community service volunteer work.
Lauren Schultheis, of Kittanning, is the 16-year-old daughter of Jenni and Chris Schultheis. She participates in basketball, volleyball, honor roll, Leo Club, and Apple Bee Pond.