“The Clef Hangers” from ISU to perform at Sweet Corn Fest Queen Pageant

Three contestants in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant, left to right, are Allison Olczak, Madison Bean and Gillian Sondgeroth. (Photo courtesy of Setchell Studio)

MENDOTA – The Mendota Chamber has announced that intermission entertainment at this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant will be Illinois State University’s mixed A capella group, “The Clef Hangers.” Their performance is courtesy of Eureka Savings Bank of Mendota and will take place as the judges decide on who will be crowned 2019 Sweet Corn Festival Queen.

Queen Pageant practices continue for the 15 candidates, getting everything and everyone relaxed and ready for the big night. Getting used to what it will be like on stage, being comfortable with those hosting, and taking cues will help things go smoothly that evening.

Now let us introduce three more Sweet Corn Queen hopefuls.

The Kiwanis Club of Mendota has selected Allison Olczak as its queen candidate. She is the daughter of Justin and Shannon Olczak of Mendota. She stands 5-5 and has blue eyes and blonde hair.

Olczak is a May 2019 graduate of Mendota Township High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society and was heavily involved in the Music Department. She took part in Concert Band, Concert Choir, and the Drama Club. For the last two years, she was a Jester in the Madrigal Dinner Performances. She was also the Choir president this year and a Drum Major for Marching Band.

Olczak plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College beginning in the fall. She is planning to get her Associates in Biology. Her plans for the future are to further her education in hopes to one day get her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Eventually, she would like to open her own private practice.

This summer you will find Olczak working in the paint department at Menard’s. At work she meets with customers, organizes shelves, and mixes paint. She will also be spending time with her family and friends, and job shadowing.

Olczak enjoys going for hikes and riding her bike. She especially loves spending time with her nephew Luca and her dog Lucy. She also loves going on hikes when she can and riding her bike. She is very grateful for the many opportunities that she has had to serve her community through her involvement with the Music Department. She says that the experiences have helped her appreciate her community even more.

Madison Bean is the choice of the Women of the Moose Chapter 1567 for this year’s queen pageant. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Amber French of Mendota. Bean has brown hair and brown eyes and is 5-7.

She is a spring graduate of Mendota High School, where she was an honor roll student. Bean was involved in many sports including tennis for two years, basketball for four years and soccer for four years, serving as the team captain her senior year. She was the junior Homecoming attendant in 2017 and was the 2018 Homecoming Queen.

Bean will be attending Illinois Valley Community College starting this summer. She is seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. While attending IVCC, she will also be playing on the women’s soccer team. Her goal is to graduate with a degree in Early Childhood Education and eventually become a Kindergarten teacher.

This summer you will find her attending summer classes at IVCC. She will also be playing soccer and hanging out with her friends.

Bean enjoys helping others in the time of need. She also wants people to know that she is a helpful, caring, and funny person.

The Rotary Club of Mendota has selected Gillian Sondgeroth to represent it in this year’s pageant.  She is the daughter of Eric and Tammy Sondgeroth of Troy Grove. Sondgeroth has light brown hair and light brown eyes and stands 5-10.

Sondgeroth was a May graduate of Mendota High School. She was a member of the tennis team for four years and was also an active member in Student Council, Spanish Club, and Interact Club for four years. She was elected Student Council President her senior year, and as Interact Club Vice President.  She was a member of the National Honor Society and was the Secretary this past year. Sondgeroth was a member of the Spanish Honor Society and was chosen to be an Illinois State Scholar. She also received the Student Council award. Outside of MHS activities, she was also a dancer for 16 years.

Sondgeroth will be attending St. Ambrose University in the fall to study Psychology and play tennis. She plans to get her Bachelor’s degree. In the future, Sondgeroth plans to graduate from St. Ambrose with a Bachelor’s degree to one day become a psychologist. She also hopes to travel as much as she can before settling down and starting a family.

This summer you will find Sondgeroth working at the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce as a summer assistant for the third year. At work, she can be seen answering the phone, doing paperwork, running errands, and overall preparing for the Sweet Corn Festival.

Sondgeroth enjoys working out, cooking, and dancing. She also enjoys spending time with friends, family, and especially her three nephews. Playing tennis and taking her dog for walks are other ways she likes to spend her time. She is very grateful for all of the opportunities that she has had to volunteer her time to the community through the Interact Club and Student Council.

Sondgeroth is so excited to be a part of the Queen Pageant after helping with the Sweet Corn Festival for many years behind the scenes.


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