Three candidates in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Contest, left to right, are Elle Bottom, Gillian Sutton and Ryann Avery. (Photo courtesy of Setchell Studio)
MENDOTA – Selecting the Queen to reign over the festivities of Mendota’s 70th Annual Sweet Corn Festival will not be an easy task. There are 15 beautiful young ladies to choose from. The girls have been selected by Mendota not-for-profit organizations to represent them in this year’s pageant.
The pageant will be held Friday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. on the First State stage on U.S. 34 in downtown Mendota.
Preparations for the event are underway, as the candidates have recently had their publicity photos taken by Setchell Studio of Mendota. Pageant co-chairpersons Michelle Barkman and Monica Zimmerlein will be working closely with the candidates in preparation for the big night. Each of the Sweet Corn Queen hopefuls will be very busy during the next few weeks, rehearsing stage presence and getting ready for their interviews with the judges.
Now let’s introduce the first three candidates vying for the 2017 Sweet Corn Festival Queen crown.
The Mendota Lions Club has selected Elle Bottom as its queen candidate. She is the daughter of Rick and Jody Bottom of Mendota. Bottom is 5-3, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.
A May 2017 graduate of Mendota High School, Bottom achieved the honor roll all eight semesters and was a member of the National Honor Society and the BNC All-Academic Team.
She was a member of the MHS cheerleading team for four years, where she served as captain, and also was a member of the track team for two years. She also served as a member of the student council and worked in the principal’s office while at MHS.
Bottom plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College in the fall for two years and then transfer to the University of Kentucky, seeking a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business.
This summer you will find her working as a lifeguard at Mendota Swimming Pool, keeping people safe, giving first aid if needed, and teaching swimming lessons. She will also be spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, and babysitting.
Bottom’s hobbies are photography, riding her bike and hiking. She also enjoys swimming, dance and cheerleading. She is especially interested in fashion and baking.
Her plans for the future include obtaining her bachelor’s degree, getting job, and starting a family.
Bottom wants us to know that even though she is allergic to corn, she is pleased to be in this year’s pageant representing her sponsor, the Mendota Lions Club.
Ryann Avery will be representing the Mendota Optimist Club in this year’s pageant. She is the daughter of Matthew Avery and Lisa Avery of Mendota. She has brown eyes and light brown hair and is 5-1.
She is a 2017 graduate of Mendota High School where she was an honor student, achieving the honor roll all eight semesters. She was very active in sports, playing softball all four years, volleyball for two years and golf for two years. She was also a member of the MHS student council.
Avery plans on attending Illinois State University in the fall and eventually seeking a master’s degree, specializing in speech pathology.
This summer she is working at the Mendota Swimming Pool as a lifeguard and also at Marshall’s in the Peru Mall working as an associate in retail. You will also find her spending a lot of time with friends at their graduation parties and vacationing with her family.
Avery likes to watch sporting events of any level and loves trying on new make-up. She also likes going to concerts. Most of all she looks forward to going on vacation in the summer.
Her plans for the future include attending ISU in the fall to start studying speech pathology.
Avery especially enjoys traveling and hopes that she will be able to travel a lot in her future and for the rest of her life. She would also like to get involved in saving wildlife. It is something cares deeply about.
Representing the Mendota Business and Professional Women’s Club will be Gillian Sutton. She is the daughter of Barry and Laura Sutton of rural LaMoille, and 5-7 with brown eyes and light brown hair.
Sutton graduated from Mendota High School this spring where she achieved the honor roll all eight semesters and received the BNC All Academic Award. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Spanish Club.
She was a member of the soccer team and was selected to the BNC All Conference squad for two years. She was also a member of the bowling team and and selected by the News Tribune as its Girls’ Bowler of the Year for 2016-2017.
Sutton was a member of Interact Club and received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA). She also participated in Teens Encounter Christ (TEC), was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church Youth Group and was a member of the Northern Illinois Futbol Club.
She plans on attending St. Ambrose University in the fall, where she will be a member of the women’s bowling team, a St. Ambrose Admissions Ambassador, as well as a member of the campus ministry. She is seeking a doctorate degree in physical therapy.
This summer you will find Sutton working at the Newcomer Insurance Agency in Dixon, answering the phones, taking payments, filing, organizing titles, and doing license service work. She will also be playing with her pets outside and spending time with her friends. She is planning to go on a mission trip to Red Lake, Minn.
Her hobbies include bowling, soccer and writing. She is especially interested in furthering her faith and going on mission trips.
Her plans for the future include getting her doctorate in physical therapy at St. Ambrose, and then traveling the country working as a physical therapist.
Sutton is part of the St. Ambrose Track 1 Program that has already granted her admission into the graduate program of physical therapy.