The Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival starts Friday and a queen and sweetheart will be crowned that evening at 6 in the NorthWood Middle School gym.
All queen candidates are eighth-grade students at NorthWood Middle School. The queen is voted on by teachers and eighth-grade students at NorthWood Middle School.
Each girl wrote an essay on “Who inspires you the most & why?” The essays are judged by an anonymous panel, which chooses one girl to be named the Spirit of Wakarusa Essay winner. The winner will receive an essay winner’s sash, necklace, jar of maple syrup and $50 U.S. Savings Bond.
The queen will win a crown, queen’s sash, queen’s floral bouquet, necklace, jar of maple syrup and a $50 U.S. Savings Bond.
The first, second and third runners-up will receive a runner’s-up sash, necklace, and jar of maple syrup. All contestants receive a contestant sash and floral bouquet. Business sponsors for this event are J&N Stone, Mom & Me Floral Boutique, Dru’s Jewelry, George Muthart of Gold Star Realty, New to You Resale Shop (Shane and Sharla Weldy, owners) and Elk Ridge Builders (Jeff King, owner).
1 — Regan Terra Beck is the daughter of John and Trace Beck of Wakarusa. In school, she is involved in the school musical, choir, student council and runs track. She also enjoys playing soccer and softball. Regan is passionate about horses and participates in 4-H through Saddle Club. She attends Nappanee Missionary Church, where she continues learning in her faith about how to more completely live her life for God.
2 — Katelyn Hope Davis is the daughter of Dale and Nicole Davis of Nappanee. Katelyn participates in middle school choir, track and swimming, where she currently holds the school record in the butterfly. She also swims for her club swim team, the Wa-Nee Waves. Katelyn enjoys hanging out with her friends, art, snowboarding, skiing and traveling. She attends Nappanee Missionary Church, where she is active in the youth group.
3 — Destiny Ann Paige Gauthier is the daughter of David Gauthier of Elkhart and Rose Pappas of Wakarusa. She attends Wakarusa Missionary Church. She spends much time babysitting and is a member of the Babysitting Club at Elkhart General Hospital, having achieved certification for first aid, CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. In her free time, Destiny enjoys swimming, art, shopping at the mall and hair design.
4 — Alexa Jean Grendys is the daughter of Chris and Kristi Grendys of Nappanee. At school, she has made the honor roll for four years, is a cheerleader, a member of the Select Singers and involved in the school musical. Alexa has performed in the Nappanee Civic theater and has studied dance for 11 years at LeeAnne Stewart Dance School. She has also performed a vocal solo in seven local talent shows, earning a first or second place at each contest, as well as earning six gold ratings at Solo & Ensemble contest. She is an active member of St. Dominic Catholic Church.
5 — Claire Gehl McGuire is the daughter of David McGuire and Jean and Kevin Deary of Goshen. Claire is involved in the school play and choir. She plays for the Wa-Nee Storm 14U softball team, in the Wakarusa softball league, and has studied dance for five years at LeeAnne Stewart Dance School. Claire enjoys hanging out with her friends, horses and working with kids. She attends Yellow Creek Mennonite Church where she is active in the youth group.
6 — Bailey Makenna Murphy is the daughter of Shannon and Shelley Murphy of Nappanee. At school, Bailey is involved in the school musical and choir. She also is a member of the NorthWood Red Regiment Marching Band and has sung with the Indiana All-State Honor Choir. Bailey enjoys participating in 4-H, singing, acting, reading, writing, her youth group and spending her free time with family and friends.
7 — Yvette Lenae Nissley is the daughter of Laural and Geraldine Nissley of Goshen. She is involved in 4-H and shows rabbits in the Rabbit Club. Yvette enjoys snowboarding, horseback riding, swimming, photography, scrap booking, raising rabbits and both Christian and country music. She would like to purse a career in either psychology or physical therapy. Yvette attends Zion Mennonite Church where she enjoys being in the youth group class.
8 — Katelyn Marie Peel is the daughter of Steve Peel and Janet Swindle of Nappanee. In school, Katie participates in volleyball, basketball, choir, and is involved in the school musical. She enjoys football, art, hanging out with her friends, listening to music and laughing. Katie loves to attend church where she can learn more in her Christian walk and worship God.
9 — Breanna Rose Troyer is the daughter of Keith and Tara Troyer of Nappanee. At school, Breanna plays both volleyball and basketball, runs track, sings in the eighth-grade choir, and is a member of the Select Singers. She participates in 4-H with her horses through Saddle Club. Breanna attends Nappanee Missionary Church, where she is involved in the youth group and sings with her youth group worship band.
10 — Sydney Elizabeth Wysong is the daughter of Andy and Jenni Wysong of Nappanee. She plays both volleyball and basketball for her school, is co-president of student council, enjoys playing tennis and plays on a Top Gun travel volleyball team. Sydney studied ballet, tap, and jazz at LeeAnne Stewart Dance School for nine years. She enjoys cooking, baking, and working at Amish Acres Soda Fountain & Fudge Shop. Sydney attends Nappanee Missionary Church where she is active in Sunday School and involved in a small group.
The Sweetheart contest is open to all kindergarten girls living in the Wakarusa Elementary school district. Money jars with the girls’ pictures are located at Cook’s Pizza and Wakarusa’s Interra Credit Union. The girl who collects the most money is named the Maple Syrup Sweetheart.
All money collected is used to fund the Maple Syrup Queen and Sweetheart Contests.
The Sweetheart winner receives a crown, sweetheart sash, jar of maple syrup and a $50 U.S. Savings Bond. Sponsors are the same as the queen contest.
1 — Sadie Jeanette Beasy is the daughter of Steve and Cheryl Beasy of Goshen.
2 — Ryanna Lynn Briscoe is the daughter of Ryan and Wendy Briscoe of Goshen and Angie and Shawn Edwards.
3 — Brooklin Alexandrea Brubacher is the daughter of Kamron Brubacher and Rachael Evans of Wakarusa.
4 — Riley Marie Cooper is the daughter of Jason Cooper and Sheila Walk of Wakarusa.
5 — Jenna Nicole Householter is the daughter of Ben and Dena Householter of Wakarusa.
6 — Savannah Love is the daughter of Mark and Donna Love of Goshen.
7 — Faith Lea Piercy is the daughter of Jonathan and LeeAnn Piercy of Wakarusa and Samantha Schaffer.
8 — Sage Delaney Risser is the daughter of Tim and Missy Risser of Goshen.
9 — Emma Shapland is the daughter of John and Connie Shapland of Nappanee.
10 — Sunny Grace Snyder is the daughter of the late Wade Snyder and Esther Pressler of Goshen.
11 — Joyce Zimmerman is the daughter of Ed and Tammy Zimmerman of Wakarusa.
Editor’s note: Sweetheart contestants’ photos will appear in a special section on the Maple Syrup Festival in Wednesday’s edition.