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Katie wins the crown: Southwood alum chosen as Wabash County Festivals Queen

By Mandy Mahan

Katie Jones was crowned as queen at the 30th Annual Wabash County Scholarship Pageant at the Ford Theatre at the Honeywell Center Friday, July 24. Twelve former queens and former directors were honored during the evening, along with sponsors. 

The night started out with a dance number performed by all contestants along with the 2019 pageant queen, Danielle Sparling, choreographed by Lisa Mattern Billings and Megan Long. Following the dance performance, all contestants modeled their sportswear while a description or their outfit and the activity they do while wearing it was read to the crowd by emcee Rod Schram. Sportswear modeled varied from fishing attire to ballet-wear.

The contestants then modeled formal wear and answered an onstage question.

Seventeen contestants competed in the pageant. 

Winners of more than $4,000 in scholarships were: queen, Katie Jones, daughter of Jennifer Nestleroad of Marion and the Late Ron Jones; 1st runner up, Alyssa McKillip, daughter of Troy and Toni McKillip of Wabash; 2nd runner up, Jirni Cripe, daughter of Phil and Joni Cripe of North Manchester; 3rd runner up, Haylie Miller, daughter of Steve and Roberta Miller of Urbana;  4th Runner up, Mariah Kirtlan, daughter of Steve and Sandy Kirtlan of Wabash; Miss Friendship, Christine Niccum, daughter of Brian and Deanna Niccum of North Manchester; Directors Award winner, Chloe Miller, daughter of Mark and Angela Miller of North Manchester.  The former queens in attendance also voted on their choice to be queen which went to Kenda Mullen, daughter of George Mullen and Jessica and Jason Strickler all of Wabash.

Kaitlyn Jones:  Kaitlyn is the 20-year-old daughter of Jennifer Nestleroad of Marion and the late Ron Jones of Wabash.  She is a 2018 graduate of Southwood High School.  This fall Kaitlyn will be a Junior at Indiana university Kokomo where she is majoring in Business Marketing and minoring in Sports Marketing and Management. 

Alyssa Mckillip:  Alyssa is the 19-year-old daughter of Troy and Toni McKillip of Wabash.  She is a 2020 graduate of Northfield High School.  This fall she will be a Freshman at Butler University where she is majoring in Biology and minor in Chemistry. 

Jirni Cripe:  Jirni is the 20-year-old daughter of Phil and Joni Cripe of North Manchester.  She is a 2019 graduate of Manchester High School.  This fall she will be a sophomore at Purdue University majoring in marketing and horticulture with a focus in Entrepreneurship. 

Haylie Miller:  Haylie is the 18-year-old daughter of Steve and Roberta Miller of Urbana.  She is a 2020 graduate of Manchester High School.  This fall she will be a freshman at I.U.P.U.I where she will major in biology. 

Mariah Kirtlan:  Mariah is the 20-year-old daughter of Scott and Sandy Kirtlan of Wabash.  She is a 2018 graduate of Northfield High School.  This fall she will be a junior at Indiana University Fort Wayne where she is majoring in nursing.

Christine Niccum:  Christine is the 21-year-old daughter of Brian and Deanna Niccum of North Manchester.  She is a 2017 graduate of Manchester High School.  This fall she will be a junior at Huntington University where she is majoring in social work with a minor in exceptional populations.

Chloe Miller:  Chloe is the 18-year-old daughter of Mark and Angela Miller of North Manchester.  This year she will be a senior at Northfield High School.  After graduation she would like to attend college and medical school. 

Kenda Mullen:  Kenda is the 20-year-old daughter of George Mullen and Jessica and Jason Strickler all of Wabash.  Kenda is a 2018 graduate of Wabash High School.  This fall she will be a junior at IU Kokomo where she is majoring in public administration and health management. 

Jones will represent Wabash County at the Indiana State Festivals Pageant in January at the Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis. 

Stage decorations for the pageant, a large “30” to represent the 30th year of the pageant, and two large figures of women wearing ballgowns, were provided by Jon Vanderpool.  Escorts for the evening were Alix Winer and Luke Winer. 
Karen Walker was the on-stage coordinator. Scorekeepers were Connie George and Beth Miller. Also helping with the pageant were Tri Kappa members who helped back stage and in the dressing rooms. Pageant directors are: Bev Vanderpool, Patty Meagher, Kara Fulmer, Teresa Ridgeway and Makayla Ridgeway.

Posted on 2020 Jul 28