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Hedgesville teen named Miss Berkeley Co. Youth Fair

August 03, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Whitney Henry's composure and smile abandoned her only momentarily Monday night. After she was named Miss Berkeley County Youth Fair 2004, a shocked expression took over her face and, minutes later as she posed for photographs, Henry wiped away a couple of tears.

"It means the world to me, honestly," Henry said afterward, as she clutched a bouquet of flowers and wore a crown. "I'll tell my kids and my grandkids."

Henry competed against 22 other young women during the pageant, which took about two hours.

Henry, 16, will be a junior this fall at Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School. She is president of both the Hedgesville High School Future Farmers of America club and the Hedgesville Superchargers 4-H club.

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This year at the fair, Henry has a hog, steer, lamb and horse. Worried she might not have time to adequately represent everyone - the queen must be present during many fair events - Henry nearly did not enter.

Fair co-chairperson Barbara Frankenberry talked her into it, but Henry - who won a Miss Congeniality Award last year - never expected to win.

"I didn't even think I'd make the top five," she said.

Courtney Kilmer was the first runner-up in 2003 and was again named the first runner-up this year. She will take over the crown if Henry cannot perform her duties.

The second runner-up was Ashley Young; third runner-up was Candace Minghini and fourth runner-up was Casey McDonald.

Henry, who was born and raised in Berkeley County, said she plans to attend West Virginia University and then veterinary school. She hopes to become a local veterinarian.

During the pageant in a stifling building, Henry found inspiration in the bleachers. There sat her English teacher, who kept "going like this," Henry said, pointing to a large smile on her own face.

A fair participant for seven years, Henry has entered the pageant three times. She plans to return as a volunteer for many more years to come.

With the pageant's set designed to look like a 1950s ice cream parlor, each contestant was asked her favorite flavor. Henry's? Green mint chocolate chip.

Perhaps one of the more telling moments of the pageant came near the end, courtesy of Jordan Shultz with Swan Pond 4-H Club.

When emcee Michael T. Myers named her a Miss Congeniality Award winner, Shultz walked across the stage. During a break in the pageant, after she did not make it to the next round, Shultz had swapped her high heels for a pair of work boots. She still had on her gown.

Kilmer also received a Miss Congeniality Award while Young received the Evelyn Talbott Community Service Award.

Others who participated in the pageant were: Natalie Wenck, Amanda Weakley, Jenna Marker, Robyn McDonald, Katherine Aberegg, Samantha Connelly, Brittany Young, Julianne Frye, Nicole Sencindiver, Tristan Wilson, Amy Custer, Stacie Pedersen, Kristen Linton, Jessica Monroy, Ashley Banks, Rachel Hutchinson and Joyce Orlando.

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