Fair royalty chosen virtually
Franklin County’s annual Fair was cancelled this year, but the county still has a 2020 Royalty Court, thanks to Internet technology.
Raylee Gibbons, daughter of Pamala Gibbons and the late Ronald Gibbons of Dry Run in Path Valley, was crowned 2020 Franklin County Fair Queen during a ceremony Aug. 28. Liz Holtry, 18-year-old granddaughter of Shirley and Donnie Holtry, and the only child of Troy and Diane Holtry, Newburg, is the Queen Alternate.
This year’s Fair Princess is Morgan Shatzer, 12, daughter of Bryan and Angela
Shatzer of Marion. Kamea Pierce, 13, daughter of Steve and Christina Pierce, Fort Loudon, is Princess Alternate.
Amber Myers, 10, daughter of Heidi and Chris Myers, of Ft. Loudon, is this year’s Little Miss. Briella Pine, 9, daughter of Donnie and Peggy Pine, Greencastle, is Little Miss Alternate.
RELATED: County Fairs cancelled
Court was chosen virtually
The entire FC Fair royalty contest happened virtually this year. Contestants submitted the entry form online using Google Forms.
They had a couple weeks to prepare and submit their judged materials, which included a written questionnaire, biography, and poem or speech.
Little Miss contestants wrote a poem, while queen and princess contestants gave a speech. they each submitted a video with their prepared introduction and answer to an impromptu question.
Once all the girls submitted their materials, everything was sent to three judges to score and choose the winners.
Winners were announced during a Facebook Live event July 6, the date the contests would have taken place if the fair hadn’t been canceled. An in-person crowning for the 2020 Royalty Court took place Aug. 28.
The 2020 royalty has been to a handful of events already. They have done a few milk drops; participated in Snider’s Elevator Farmer Appreciation Days; the Cumberland Valley Antique Engine Fall Tractor Show; helped at the Mercersburg Lions Club Fair, and helped at the Franklin County Youth Dairy Club Show.
The royalty file: Queen Raylee Gibbons
Raylee Gibbons, 19, is the daughter of Pamala Gibbons and the late Ronald Gibbons.
Here is how she introduced herself to the panel of judges:
“I currently reside in the eastern part of Franklin County in a small town called Dry Run, which is one of many towns that makes up what is better known as Path Valley. I am a 2019 graduate of Fannett-Metal High School. Since then I have continued to pursue a post-secondary education at the Pennsylvania State University Mont Alto Campus.
“I am currently double majoring in Physical Therapy Assisting as well as Human Developmental Family Studies. At school, I am as also an active member of Lion Ambassadors, where I serve as our treasurer; as well as Thon, were I have (been) blessed to become our Family Relations Liaison for this upcoming year.
“I also am a cheerleader, so I enjoy getting to cheer on our men’s and women’s basketball teams in the winter. I am currently employed at Menno Haven Retirement Home and the Dollar General in Spring Run. I am a member of the Spring Run Bible Church.
“In my free time I love spending time with family and friends and going to the tractor pulls and races. I may not have been born and raised on a farm, but my love of agriculture has been growing since the young age of two years old.
Growing up with dairy farm sitters
“At two years old I spent many mornings out in the dairy barn where I got be taken all around and witness what it was like to be a dairy farmer. Given that my babysitters owned and operated their own dairy farm I got the opportunity to take many naps in the feed carts in the barns; and my personal favorite spot was sitting in the window seat as I was tall enough to watch every cow getting milked.
“Since those young days, agriculture has kept me close with their family as I consider them a second family of mine. Often agriculture brings people together and that is exactly what has happened with us. Last year I was given the opportunity to work on their farm during my summer break; as well as I stayed with their children at our fair.
“The memories I have made surrounding agriculture are ones that I will forever cherish!”
Raylee went on to say that she first aspired to promoting agriculture when she ran for Miss Stoner’s Dairy Farm when she was 9. She didn’t win that year, but it put her on the path to become an agriculture ambassador. Raylee won the title of Franklin County Fair Princess in 2016. She describes that year as “amazing and memorable.”
Queen Alternate Elizabeth Lea (Liz) Holtry
Elizabeth Lea Holtry, 18, granddaughter of Shirley and Donnie Holtry, and the only child of Troy and Diane Holtry. She introduced herself to the fair judges in this way:
“I am proud to be from Newburg Pennsylvania, where agriculture and community is such an important part of everyday life. This year I graduated from Chambersburg Area Senior High School, while also attending Penn State Mont Alto for Dual Enrollment classes. I plan to continue my education there in the fall; then transfer to Main Campus in the fall of 2021 to complete my degree in Agriculture Extension and Education.
“Throughout those four years in high school I had many opportunities to volunteer and be involved in my community. I served as chapter officer for my FFA chapter all 5 years as junior secretary, historian, secretary, and president for two years. During my time in FFA I was able to participate in many CDEs like public speaking, farm show demonstrations, tractor restoration, forestry, as well as many others.
“I also served for the last two years on the Franklin county junior fair board as their secretary. During my time serving the junior fair board I was able to organize the Barnyard Olympics and help with many other aspects of the fair.
“Through these opportunities I developed a deep passion for agriculture education and hope to pursue this as my career in the future. I hope to inspire others the way my advisors and mentors have inspired me. Other community service I was able to do started with volunteering at my church, Otterbein United Methodist. I have been attending church there since I was born.
Inspired to volunteer at early age
“At a young age I was inspired by many mentors to start volunteering to help during the service. I started as an acolyte who lights the candles and puts them out at the end of the service. Around the age of 11, I began working full time in church’s hoagie stand at the Shippensburg Fair. We would arrive around 7am and prepare the stand for our busy evening sales, helping to prepare salads, core tomatoes and always enjoying the wonderful fellowship all week.
“At 13, I started being liturgist for the church. I would be in charge of saying opening prayers, reading the call to worship, and reading scriptures on the Sundays I was assigned. Finally, at 16 I began helping by serving in the media department. On my scheduled Sundays I run the sound board and advance slides throughout the church service that are then displayed by the projector.
“Not only have I served as Junior Fair Board secretary, but I have also attended fair board meetings to be able to contribute to the growth of our fair and growth in ways the junior fair board can help during fair week. In 2018 I joined the Junior Fair board because during the fair that year I saw all the amazing things the group was doing. The Junior Fair Board is an amazing group of our county’s youth that believe in agriculture and want to help promote the fair. I feel so lucky to be able to help organize records and help run meetings for them.
In 2019, the junior fair board came up with a new plan where each junior member was paired with a member of the adult board. This way, we were able to learn some of the important things they did in order to make our fair successful. I myself thought this was a great plan.
“I was assigned to Caitlin and was able to help with distributing tickets during parking; as well as other small jobs in the office (and) learning so much about the hard work that goes into fair week. In the last two years, the junior fair board has definitely grown. Meetings grew from helping other members learning parliamentary procedure and the correct way to run a meeting; to running successful meetings where we assign jobs to volunteers to better the fair.”
Princess Morgan Shatzer
Morgan Shatzer, 12, is the daughter of Bryan and Angela Shatzer, Marion. Here was her introduction:
“I will be in 7th Grade at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School. I enjoy art, softball, track and field, cheerleading, hunting, and spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy volunteering in my community and learning new things. When I grow up I hope to become a teacher. I would like to thank my sponsor: Henson’s Collision and Marion Motors.”
Princess alternate Kamea Heidi Pierce
Kamea Heidi Pierce, 13, is the daughter of Steve and Christina Pierce, Fort Loudon. Born January 21, 2007 at the Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown, she is the oldest of 5 children. She has two sisters, Avala and Isabella and two brothers, Kayden and Miles. Kamea just completed the 7th grade at James Buchanan Middle School and will be attending the 8th grade this coming school year.
She enjoys dancing, singing, reading, writing, crafts, baking, swimming, attending church. Kamea also enjoy, playing with her siblings, her two guinea pigs (Smores and Bo Peep), hiking and riding her bike.
Kamea just finished her seventh year of dance at Miss Dicey’s School of Dance, where she takes Jazz and is also part of a Dance Team. The Dance Team has received High Gold, Top 3 and Gold awards for their dance routines.
She has two aunts, both registered nurses, have inspired her into perusing a degree as a Registered Nurse or Pediatric Doctor after she graduates high school.
Little Miss Amber Myers
Amber Myers, 10, is the daughter of Heidi and Chris Myers. She is in fifth grade at Mountain View Elementary School.Her mother is a teacher and her father works at Manitowoc. She has a sister, Taylor, who is in third grade.
This is how she introduced herself to the judges:
“My favorite sports are swimming, ice skating, dance, and volleyball. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano, singing, and painting. I like to play outside, especially in my back yard or at my pappy’s farm. I enjoy going to Cowan’s Gap and walking on trails in the woods. I go to church at Trinity United Church of Christ in Fort Loudon and am a member of the Fort Loudon Ruritan Club; so I help with a lot of community activities and meals that are held there.
“I’ve been part of the fair for my whole life. I work at a the Chicken House with my mom, sister, and mimi. My dad, pappy, and some other friends make the BBQ chicken at the pit. I always look forward to competing in the Barnyard Olympics and watching the truck and tractor pulls, and will miss those this year.
“I love my family a lot and I love the fair, and I am very glad that the Fair Board decided to let contestants run for royalty virtually this year so that we didn’t have to miss out. Thank you and I hope to become the next Franklin County Little Miss.”
Little Miss Alternate Briella Pine
Briella Pine, 9, is the daughter of Sonnie and Peggie Pine. She is a Fourth grader at Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School. She has a five-year-old sister, Chloe.
Here’s her introduction to the judges:
“I have 4 cats, 2 dogs, a fish and a hermit crab. I love animals! My hobbies include riding my four wheeler, going to my Aunt & Uncle’s Farm to help feed the baby cows, going out on my family’s boat, riding my bike and swimming. I also play softball and soccer.
“I love school and learning new things. I have made the honor roll every year. Reading and Math are my favorite subjects! When I grow up I want to be a teacher.