SCF Queen Pageant suspense about to be over


Three candidates in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant, left to right, are Cheyenne West, Celi Brandy Delao and Carly Burke. (Photo courtesy of Setchell Studio)

MENDOTA - A very short time remains before the 2018 Sweet Corn Festival Queen is chosen to reign over the festivities of Mendota's 71st Annual Sweet Corn Festival Aug. 9-12.

Be sure to join Don and Karen Goy as they MC the evening of suspense and entertainment. Choosing one queen and two attendants from the 16 beautiful contestants will be a very difficult choice indeed for the judges. The judges will be busy most of Friday afternoon with the candidate interviews at the Pageant Tea.

Festivities will get underway at 7:30 p.m. 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 for 2018 Sweet Corn Festival Queen:

Carly Burke has been selected by the Knights of Columbus Council #2090 as its representative in the pageant. She is the daughter of Dick and Kim Marshall of Mendota. Carly has brown hair and brown eyes and is 5-7.

She graduated from Mendota Township High School this past May, where she was an honor roll student. Carly was a member of the Choir for all four years and participated in eight of the Mendota Education Association Musical Productions. She has been a volunteer on four Mission Trips sponsored by the First United Methodist Church and has also been a volunteer as a nursery/preschool assistant at Crossbridge Church.

Carly plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College for two years beginning this fall and then transfer to Olivet Nazarene University where she will seek a degree in Elementary Education, specializing as a kindergarten teacher.

This summer you will find Carly working as a teller at First State Bank and babysitting. She enjoys reading and spending time with her friends. Her major interests are psychology and photography.

Her goal is to become a good teacher.

The Mendota Booster Club has chosen Celi Brandy Delao as its candidate in this year’s pageant. Brandy is the daughter of Salvadore Delao and Celi Arteaga. She stands 5-2 and has brown eyes and black hair.

Brandy graduated from Mendota High School this May, where she was a three-sport athlete all four years of her high school career. She was a member of the volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer teams. Brandy won first place in the Spanish Competition in the singing and dancing division. She was also crowned the 2018 MHS Homecoming Queen. Upon graduation, Brandy received the Kilmartin Award.

Brandy plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College in the fall and then eventually transfer to Illinois State University, where she will seek a degree in education, specializing in Spanish. She would also like to get her Master’s Degree.

This summer you will find Brandy babysitting most days. She will be taking care of young children. She will also be working out and spending time with her family. She plans to visit her grandparents in Mexico.

Her hobbies include singing, dancing, baking, working out, and watching sports. Brandy especially enjoys going to Mexico every summer. It has been a tradition ever since she was born.

Brandy’s plan for the future is to become a Spanish teacher and hopefully get a job at Mendota High School. She would like to have a family someday and live in Mendota.

She says that no one has ever heard of her first name. Everyone knows her by her middle name, Brandy, not her first name Celi.

Cheyenne West is the candidate selected by the Mendota Fire Department for this year’s pageant. She is the daughter of Gary and Nicole West of Mendota. Cheyenne has brown hair, hazel eyes and is 5-5.

She is a May 2018 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. She also served as band librarian. Cheyenne was selected to the BNC and Augustana Honor bands. She was a member of the MHS Concert Choir for four years, serving as choir librarian. She was an Illinois Music Educators Association District Selectee/Honored Singer. Cheyenne participated in ILMEA District Solo and Ensemble, receiving 15 first-place and two second-place ratings while at MHS. She also received the ILMEA District Solo and Ensemble Best of Day Award.

Cheyenne was a member of the tennis team all four years and Class of 2018 Vice President. An eight-semester honor roll student, Cheyenne was selected for the National Honor Society. Upon graduation Cheyenne received the Business & Professional Women’s Club Scholarship. Cheyenne has also been involved in various volunteer activities, including concession worker, Sweet Corn Festival clean-up and corn sales on behalf of the MHS Fine Arts Department. She has been active in her church as a vacation bible school craft leader and a First United Methodist Church mission team member.

Cheyenne will attend Olivet Nazarene University where she plans to be a member of the tennis team. She is seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and eventually a Master’s Degree, specializing in Pediatric Nursing.

This summer you will find Cheyenne working at one of her various jobs – the Mendota Lutheran Home, the Mendota Civic Center and as a personal tutor. Cheyenne says she is able to work well with others, knowing the descriptions of each specific job and knowing common core knowledge to pass on to others helps her with her busy schedule.

Cheyenne’s hobbies are tennis, animals, volunteering and exercise. She especially enjoys helping others and ensuring their well-being. Cheyenne also likes helping animals in every way possible.

Her plans for the future are to attend Olivet Nazarene University to obtain a Bachelor’s in Nursing. From there she plans to specialize in pediatrics and become a pediatric nurse practitioner, hoping to work at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital someday.


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