Lora Current was crowned the 2018 Champaign County Fair Queen at Sunday’s awards ceremonies.
“First of all, I want to thank God. Because there’s a lot of prayer that went into this,” Current said during her acceptance speech.
She would later expound on that idea.
“I put a prayer team together as soon as I sent in an application,” she said, explaining that a dozen of her friends would pray together.
In addition, Current credited the Champaign County Fair with teaching her strong socialization skills that helped her interact with judges and her school’s strong writing curriculum with helping prepare her for the written portion of the application.
First runner-up is Kayleigh Metz, and second runner-up is Ally Pierce. There were six candidates this year, with an essay centered around the topic “How has your involvement in the Champaign County Fair better prepared you for the future?”
The daughter of Chad and Dana Current, Lora is active in 4-H and graduated from Troy Christian this year. She has held multiple administrative positions in her 4-H club and has been honored for academics and is active in sports at her school.
Her special interests include pole vaulting, trail running, community 5-K, mentoring and tutoring.
“In my leisure time I like to read nonfiction books, spend time with friends, volunteer with my school at Isaiah’s Place Foster Care, and teach ballet and jazz at Center Stage Academy. I also quite enjoy bargain shopping and finding good deals,” Current said in her application.
In the coming year, the new queen will travel the state and represent the county at other fairs.
Queen Lora Current’s application essay
“The historic Champaign County Fair, a home to many, has exceedingly equipped me for the future by teaching me how to be an exceptional leader and how to excel in connecting and interacting with others. Also it has pushed me to put forth my best effort at all times and have confidence in myself.
“The Champaign County Fair exists today due to the hard-working people who sacrifice their time, talents and money to give back to the community. The fair has taught me how to be a servant leader by exemplifying humility and service throughout all of its facilities. A servant leader is someone who desires to serve-first, which, in turn, creates a respected leader. On the contrary, the lead-first person is more concerned about his or her sense of power and who will follow their lead. Undeniably, the volunteers at the fair are serve-first people. They have earned the admiration and respect of the children and adults who attend the fair through examples of selfless hard work, dedication and exceptional attitudes. I know the volunteers are passionate about what they do because even in the tired, frustrating situations that I have encountered at fair, I am met with a smile and encouraging word from an equally tired volunteer. The Champaign County Fair brings, as my dad says, “The best and the brightest” leaders, the servant-leaders. Following these role models in our community will help me grow in my personal servant leadership.
“Community has been important to the Champaign County Fair since the early 1850s when it was just neighbors coming together to show off and sell livestock. Now, over a century later, although the fair has grown in diversity, it still holds the value of community by bringing neighbors together to create one large family. For instance, I was in the three percent of kids in America who were home-schooled through elementary school (Bielick). Although this experience grew me in many wonderful ways, I missed out on a large social aspect of my life. For a young outgoing girl like myself the Champaign County Fair became not only an outlet for me but also a learning apparatus for a healthy and successful social life. By attending and participating in the fair I learned how to collaborate with friends, connect with volunteers and reach out to strangers; skills that will last a lifetime. Erin Green, director of Boys Town National Community Services Operations, says ‘Learning and displaying appropriate pro-social skills has been linked to success later in life. Social skills are the tools that enable people to communicate, learn, ask questions, ask for help, get their needs to be met in appropriate ways, get along with others, make friends and develop healthy relationships. Social skills enable people to interact appropriately with those they meet in their journey through life.’ In a world filled with many different people, having obtained these social skills have and will continue to help me thrive in a joyful life.
“However, a fruitful life requires more than just social interactions. It requires a strong work ethic and pride in a job well done. The Champaign County Fair offers many tremendous opportunities to put one’s best foot forward such as 4-H and friendly competition. For me, stepping into the ring or onto the runway creates a sense of pride because I know I did my very best. That is a feeling that cannot be bought or faked. A sense of pride also comes when one sees their form of art displayed for all to see, which, in turn, creates a bolder self-esteem. For many, the fair is a chance to feel good at something, no matter how big or small, and that feeling of accomplishment will last and push one to do their best in all areas of life for all their life.
“The fair has been an extraordinary teacher for success. The people and events of the fair have coached me in social skills, work ethic and responsibility. I could never thank the Champaign County Fair enough for growing and preparing me for a better future for myself and for my community.”
Others honored at ceremony
Other awards presented at Sunday’s event included:
4-H Girl of the Year: Elizabeth Schipfer
4-H Boy of the Year: Jack Harris
4-H Volunteer of the Year: Karen Price
FFA Girl of the Year: Summer Doty
FFA Boy of the Year: Gus Hoewischer
Mark Sommers Memorial Award recipent: Zach Potts.
More about these honorees will be published in Tuesday’s edition of the Urbana Daily Citizen.