New queen to be crowned

Candidates in the Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant include Brooke Lee, left, and Jenna Stanford. Not pictured: Katie Beetz. (Photo courtesy of Setchell Studio)

Suspense reaches peak as Sweet Corn Festival pageant nears

MENDOTA – A very short time remains before the 2019 Sweet Corn Festival Queen will be chosen to reign over the festivities of Mendota’s 72nd Annual Sweet Corn Festival this weekend, Aug. 8-11. 

Be sure to join Don and Karen Goy as they emcee the evening of suspense and entertainment. Choosing one queen and two attendants from the 15 beautiful contestants will be a very difficult choice indeed for the judges. The judges will be busy most of Friday afternoon with the candidates’ interviews at the Pageant Tea.

Festivities will get underway at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9 on the First State stage on Washington Street downtown.

Eureka Savings Bank of Mendota is bringing Illinois State University’s mixed a Capella Group, “The Clef Hangers” to perform during intermission of the pageant, while the judges are deciding, “Who will wear the crown?”

Now let’s introduce the final three contestants vying to be the 2019 Sweet Corn Festival Queen.

Katie Beetz has been selected by the Mendota Business and Professional Women as its representative in the pageant. She is the daughter of Zach and Michelle Beetz of Mendota. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and stands 5-11.

She graduated from Mendota Township High School this past May, where she was an eight-semester honor roll student. She was a member of the Choir, Band, Jazz Band, and Marching Band Leadership Team for all four years of her high school career. She was selected as the Band President her senior year. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and served as the President. She was given the title of being an Illinois State Scholar and was a DAR Award Recipient.

Beetz plans to attend St. Ambrose University beginning this fall, seeking a Bachelor’s degree in biology and will be on the pre-med track with a focus on pediatrics. After med school, she would like to see herself working in a hospital setting or possibly in her own practice at some point. She says that she has always had an interest in the medical field and that has helped her decide what career to pursue. She also intends to travel while she is young, before eventually getting married and starting a family of her own.

This summer you will find Beetz working as a camp counselor at the Mendota YMCA working scamp and day camp. She enjoys this job as she takes the kids to the park and pool, and many other fun activities. She will also be spending time with her family and friends and traveling this summer.

One of her favorite hobbies is baking with her mom. She enjoys traveling and seeing new places, while also taking yearly trips to Disney World with her family. Beetz also enjoys keeping up on the Bachelorette with her friends and working with kids.

Beetz added that she has watched this pageant since she was a little girl and she is very excited to finally be a part of it.

The Mendota Gardener’s Club has chosen Brooke Lee as its queen candidate. She is the daughter of Kevin and Julie Lee of LaMoille. She stands 5-7 and has blue eyes and blonde hair.

Lee graduated from Mendota High School this May, where she was involved in the Music Department throughout her high school career. She was a member of the Marching Band, Concert Band, and Pep Band. She was involved in FFA serving as the Vice President this past school year. She was on the bowling team and attended Illini Girls State last summer. Lee has also taken part in many 3M Productions, including 3M’s Production of “Matilda” this summer. She was also in many MHS Theatre Productions including, “The Addams Family” and “The Little Mermaid.”

Lee plans to attend Iowa State University in the fall where she will take part in club bowling, campus choir, club hockey, and pep band. She is seeking her Bachelor’s degree in agricultural systems technology and biosystems technology. Her goals for the future are to graduate from college and get a job that will allow her to use her skills to better our agricultural community. She hopes that overall, she can better the lives of others.

This summer you will find Lee preparing for college by saving the money she makes from working at Corteva Agriscience. At her job, she does seed corn pollination. She will also be making new friends from Iowa State University and spending as much time as she can with her friends and family before heading off to college in the fall.

Lee enjoys numerous outdoor activities such as gardening, riding dirt bikes, and horseback riding. She also loves reading when she can find the time. Aside from her hobbies, Lee is especially interested in agriculture. She has been surrounded by the agricultural world her whole life by watching her friends care for their cattle, and her family even owns their own field tiling business.

Jenna Stanford is the candidate selected by the Mendota VFW Post #4079. She is the daughter of Gary and Carol Stanford of Mendota. She has light brown hair, green eyes and 5-2.

Stanford is a May 2019 graduate of Mendota High School, where she was very active in band as a member of the Marching, Pep, and Concert bands all four years of her high school career. She also served as Choir Secretary Treasurer. She was selected as an ILMEA All-State singer for her sophomore, junior, and senior years.  She was also inducted as a member of the National Honor Society her senior year. She was a Madrigal singer and was the Madrigal Queen her senior year. She also played the role of Flounder in the MHS production of “The Little Mermaid” in 2018.

Stanford plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater starting this fall, where she intends to be a member of the vocal ensembles. She is seeking a degree in elementary education with a specialization in music. After obtaining her degree, she hopes to get a job teaching music at the elementary level.

This summer you will find Stanford working at Target where she takes phone calls, organizes clothing, and assists guests. She will also be spending time with her family, friends, and dogs. She hopes to find volunteer opportunities as well.

Stanford’s hobbies include singing and playing the ukulele. She also loves watching the office and going to the drive-in in her free time. She especially enjoys helping and teaching others.

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