Practice continues for SCF Queen candidates as pageant night nears


MENDOTA – Practices continue for the 11 candidates in this year’s Sweet Corn Festival Queen Pageant. The young ladies are getting ready for the big night when they take the First State Bank stage on U.S. 34 in downtown Mendota to see who will wear the crown for 2021. The festivities are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13.

Please meet three more contestants in this year’s event.

Mary DeFore will be representing the Mendota Optimist Club in the pageant. She is the daughter of Shaun and Julie Defore of Mendota. She stands five feet tall and has brown hair and blue eyes.

She graduated from Mendota High School this spring, where she played volleyball, tennis, basketball, and softball.  She was also an officer worker and media center worker during her time at MHS. She was a member of the National Honor Society and was an Illinois State Scholar as well.

This fall she plans to attend Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wis., where she will be pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology.

This summer you will find her working at the Mendota pool, watching over patrons and keeping people safe. She will also be playing softball this summer and volunteering her time at St. Vincent de Paul.

DeFore enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also loves to play softball, go hiking, read, play cards, and cuddle with her cat.

Her future plans are to graduate from Mount Mary University and progress to a medical school where she plans to become a doctor.

DeFore likes to think of herself as being an active, outgoing, and funny individual.

The Mendota Booster Club has selected Natalie Orozco as its Queen candidate.  She is the daughter of Cruz and Valentina Orozco of Mendota. She has brown eyes and brown hair, and is five feet, nine inches tall.

Orozco is a 2021 graduate of Mendota High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and an Illinois State Scholar. She was a member of the Spanish club and tennis team all four years at MHS. Additionally, she received the Big Northern Conference award.

Orozco plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College this fall where she will be a member of the Phi Theta Kapa Honor Society and study marketing. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree and plans to specialize in business and fashion merchandising.

This summer you will find Orozco working at Starbucks helping customers, making and memorizing drinks, and being hospitable to every customer that comes in. She also plans on spending time with friends and family and relaxing before school starts in the fall.

Orozco enjoys playing tennis and going on hikes. She also loves journaling, reading, listening to music, and discovering new interests.

Her plan for the future is to attend IVCC for the next two years and figure out what she is best at and then transfer to a four-year university to fulfill the rest of her schooling needed to get her bachelor’s degree.

She adds that she likes to make others laugh and be happy.

Izabella Nanez will be representing the Mendota Quarterback Club in this year’s pageant.  She is the daughter of Christina Diaz and Eloy Nanez. She stands five feet, six inches tall and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Nanez graduated from Mendota High School in 2021, where she was a member of the Spanish Club and student council for two years. She was active in MHS athletics and participated in volleyball and tennis for two years and basketball and softball for all four years. She was on the honor roll for five-semesters and received her seal of Spanish biliteracy at commencement. She also received the Big Northern Conference award and was the basketball captain her senior year.

Nanez plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College this fall where she will study general education with a specialization in English.

This summer you will find her working at Plano Synergy. At her job, she is responsible for giving her coworkers their designated breaks, assembling products, and maintaining the cleanliness of the facility. She also looks forward to playing on her travel softball team and supporting her younger brothers at their sporting events. She wants to spend as much time as she can with her friends before they start to go their separate ways this fall.

Nanez enjoys spending time reading, journaling, and listening to music. She also spends her time working out, going for runs, and hanging out with her friends. She especially loves browsing through her collection of Vogue magazines, meditating, and laying outside.

She plans to attend IVCC for two years before transferring to a four-year university. She wants to major in English and hopes to become an English teacher one day. She also has hopes to nanny and study abroad during her time at school.

Nanez considers herself to be a fun, spontaneous, and genuine person and she loves to make people laugh.