JASPER COUNTY — Jasper County Fair Queen of 2019, Kelsey Lynn Carpenter, is expected to be on hand to fit a tiara on this year’s fair queen winner next week.
Four local teenagers, including two each from Rensselaer Central and Kankakee Valley, will vie for the 2020 Jasper County Fair Queen on Friday, July 17 at Hamstra Gardens in Wheatfield. The event is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
RCHS classmates Cicily Porter and Hannah Redlin; 2019 KVHS graduate Morgan Risner; and 2020 KV graduate Marlene McGing will participate in this year’s queen pageant.
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing rules, only immediate family members will be allowed to attend.
Here is a peek at this year’s candidates:
A member of the Clover Crusaders 4-H Club, Marlene is the daughter of Mike and Jane McGing of Wheatfield. Her 4-H activities include club secretary/reporter for the Crusaders, one year in Photography, one year in Consumer Clothing, one year in Miscellaneous Crafts, three years in Soil and Water Conservation (reaching the state fair two times), Beekeeping for three years (three-time state fair qualifier), Drawing for six years and Cake Decorating for eight years, earning Reserve Grand Champion.
She is a food pantry volunteer at Sorrowful Mother Parish, a member of FCCLA for two years, a freshmen mentor for two years, a member of the pep band for four years, concert band for five years, marching band for three years, color guard for one year in which she served as captain and winter guard for five years, serving as captain for two years.
Marlene won a winter guard spirit award while in high school.
She played Powder Puff football at KVHS for two years and was a member of theater for four years, including summer productions.
A 10-year 4-H member, she was twice an Outstanding Natural Resources Project Award winner and selected for the IEC Indiana Youth Tour in 2019.
She’s been working as a part-time griller at DeMotte Dairy Queen and enjoys working with friends and serving people on a daily basis.
This fall, Marlene will be working towards an associate’s degree in General Studies from Ivy Tech. She hopes to “transfer my credits to Purdue University Northwest to get my bachelor’s degree in Journalism. I am also exploring careers in the Performing Arts.”
Her talents include playing flute and the piccolo, color guard, theatrical makeup and intuitive sixth sense. Her hobbies include line dancing, car detailing, cake decorating, fishing, spending time on the water, cooking, shopping, playing with dogs and puppies and watching pro wrestling.
She is being sponsored by DeMotte Dairy Queen.
The daughter of Christopher and Jennifer Porter of Remington, Cicily is a 10-year member of 4-H and served as a Junior Leader of four years. She was song leader and reporter for the Parr Panthers and served as a counselor at the 4-H camp.
Her projects include cooking, consumer clothing, collections, diorama, fine arts, floriculture, gift wrapping, miscellaneous crafts, photography, recycling, sports and tractor driving.
She played soccer at Rensselaer Central, played in the Saint Joseph’s Soccer League and was a member of the FC Revolution Soccer Club for five years. She was also a member of the Millennium Soccer Club and will play college soccer at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.
She plans to study Mass Communications at IUN before transferring to IUPU-Indianapolis to continue her study.
“After college, I want to be a news reporter and work my way up to the top news networks,” she said. “I plans on retiring early and joining the Peace Corps.”
Cicily was a three-year member of the show choir and performed in the Fiddler On The Roof and The Seussical in high school. She co-founded Bomber Broadcasting, serving as lead anchor and lead editor. She was also editor and chief of the yearbook staff.
A Trinity Methodist Youth Ministry member, she also served as a member of the Community Service Club and Spanish Quiz Bowl. She is also an accomplished Tik-Toker.
In 4-H, she received grand champion Gift Wrapping in 2013 and grand champion in Floriculture in 2018 and 2019. She was reserve grand champion in Consumer Clothing (2014) and Floriculture (2015, ‘16 and ‘17) and won a Certificate of Achievement in Floriculture from 2017-19. She earned a Horticulture and Floriculture pin.
In soccer, she was the Top Team Player in 2018 and earned all-conference in 2018. She was a Team Captain in 2018-19 at RCHS and Team Captain in 2020 with Millennium Soccer.
She was a member of the Sunshine Court in 2017-19, Prom Court in 2019 and Homecoming Queen in 2019.
Cicily was a two-time gold medalist in choir and three-time vocal jazz champion. She earned the Patrick Brown Yearbook Award and also won writing awards from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Kingman Family Literary and Earth Day essay.
She is a certified NWISL soccer referee, worked at Pizza King and Vector Marketing and SHEIN Campus Ambassador.
Her hobbies include running, singing, playing soccer, writing, taking photos, making Tik-Toks, gardening, traveling and cooking.
She says of her talents: “My whole life, I’ve been very musical. From day one, I’ve sang. I remember the first time I sang for an audience was when I was four years old. In high school, I auditioned and made the show choir team as a sophomore. Another talent I have is acting. I love performing on stage and on camera.”
Cicily is being sponsored by 24/7 Club Fit and Jordan’s.
A 10-year 4-H member, Hannah is the daughter of Todd and Sarah Redlin of Rensselaer. She plans to attend Indiana State University in the fall and compete as a member of the Sycamores’ track and field team.
She plans to major in Biochemistry with a premed pathway. She hopes to become a pathologist and internist or medical examiner.
4-H activities include Beef, Swine, Photography, Vet Science, Foods, Sewing, Fashion Review and Genealogy. She is a National Merit Award winner in Beef and Vet Science and a state fair qualifier in Vet Science, Foods, Photography and Fashion Review.
She has served as a Grace Kids teacher, voting poll clerk for the 2020 Primary election and a volunteer with the Rensselaer Youth Running Club.
Hannah was a member of the National Honor Society for two years and FFA for four years. She earned an Indiana State FFA degree, finished as a District Beef Proficiency winner and District Vegetable Production Proficiency winner and was chapter reporter.
A History Club member for three years, she also served in Sunshine Society for four years.
She played soccer at RCHS for two years, earning the 2017 Mental Attitude award; managed volleyball for a year; played basketball for four years; and excelled in track and field all four years.
She was the 2018 IHSAA discus state runner-up, the 2019 IHSAA discus champion, 2019 Academic All-State Honorable Mention, 2019 North/West Indiana Spring Athlete of the Year, 2018-19 Rensselaer Republican Athlete of the Year, 2017 Up and Coming Award winner, 2018-19 All-Hoosier Conference pick, 2018-19 Most Points Award winner, 2018 Junior Olympian All-American, Lafayette Journal and Courier Student Athlete of the Year nominee, 2020 Joe Burvan Memorial Award recipient and 2020 Miss Field Events in Indiana.
Her hobbies include working out and spending time with her pets and friends. “In the summer months, I can be found on the water boating and swimming. My summer job is to help my uncle in our garden raising and then selling vegetables at the farmer’s market.”
Hannah is sponsored by Strange Ag, LLC Crop Insurance.
A 10-year member of 4H in Jasper County, Morgan is the daughter of Chip and Jamie Risner of Rensselaer. She is a 2019 graduate of Kankakee Valley and recently finished her freshman year at Purdue University Northwest.
A Biology major at PNW, Morgan earned an honors diploma at KVHS. spent two years on the Kougars’ volleyball team and was Equestrian Club president for a year.
She was a member of the Bits-N-Pieces 4-H Club, serving as vice president for one year and secretary for three years. Her activities include Horses for 10 years, Dogs for one year and Reptiles for one year.
She was Reserve Grand Champion Reptile, two-time Reserve Grand Champion Mare, three-time winner in Reining, first-place winner in the Flag Race and first-place winner in Ride-A-Buck.
An Oak Grove Retirement Village volunteer, she participated in the geranium fundraiser all 10 years in 4-H and worked at the Bits-N-Pieces chicken dinner for 10 years. She also worked benefit dinners for the Holm-Hansens and Ryan Meppelink.
A member of the FFA for one year, she was a demonstration contest winner. She was also one of 50 chosen from over 500 applicants to serve at the Boiler Vet Camp where she assisted in the care of the group’s shelter dog.
Morgan’s honors and awards include IUOE Operating Engineers Scholarship recipient, 10-year 4-H member award and 2019 Horse and Pony National Award.
She is currently employed at Gast Animal Hospital in Valparaiso.
“Working here has given me a good outlook on what to expect with my future career,” she said. “I have learned how to check in clients, run tests, draw blood, schedule appointments and many other duties. Effectively communicating with the public is something I struggled with, but this job has allowed me to learn how to better speak with the public.”
After graduating from PNW in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Morgan plans the attend Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she hopes to obtain a doctorate.
“I have always dreamt of becoming a veterinarian and I am fortunate enough to have been put on the right path,” she said.
Her talents include riding her three horses and teaching them new tricks, wakeboarding, wakesurfing and working with animals. Her hobbies include spending time with family, spending time on the water, painting, exercising and playing with her pets.
Morgan is sponsored by Risner Farms 2, ATM Trucking and Mark Kingma Family Farms.