Waterfield wins Peanut Queen 2015
Published 7:06 pm Friday, October 2, 2015
Stasha Waterfield, 17, was selected to be the 38th annual Suffolk Peanut Fest Queen on Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront hotel and conference center.
Waterfield read her winning essay following the announcement of her win. The essay discussed her personal experience at the Peanut Fest, having fun with her family and performing with her school, and mentioned her desire to return from college every year for the festival.
This year marked the second time the city has put on a banquet rather than a luncheon. Dr. Brittney Drames, co-coordinator of the dinner, announced each of the girls onto the stage while briefly mentioning their long lists of accomplishments. These included everything from internships and volunteering to part-time jobs and after-school activities. “Each of you deserves our recognition for your accomplishments,” said Mayor Linda Johnson.
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“It’s not a beauty pageant,” said Theresa Earles. The girls are selected based not only on their essay but also on their community service efforts and activities, coordinators of the event said. Along with tradition, “(It) gives our high schoolers something to aspire to,” Earles added to the reason there is an annual Peanut Fest Queen selection.
Waterfield, who is a student at Lakeland High School, is involved in her school’s National Honor Society and is the president of the school’s Anchor Club. She has also participated in a suicide prevention walk, volunteers at Sentara Obici Hospital and has volunteered at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center-Nansemond Pointe as a certified nursing assistant.
“My name will always be part of Suffolk, even if I move away,” Waterfield said of her excitement over winning the crown. As an active person in her community, she is a fan of the 50-hour volunteering requirement recently put on students in Suffolk. However, it shouldn’t have to be required because people should want to volunteer, she said.
Each of the five high schools in Suffolk, including both the public and private ones, selects two young ladies for the contest each year. Throughout the festival, the girls will participate in a number of events at the festival, including participating in a pumpkin carving contest and judging the chalk art contest and food vendors, said Ellen Drames, co-coordinator of the banquet.
The banquet also featured a performance by Smithfield’s Sweet Adelines, a barbershop quartet-style singing group, and a silent auction. The auction included a wide variety of goods, all donated by local businesses.
All of these items were donated by local businesses, and the raised funds will go towards The Pilot Club of Suffolk, said Angie Twiford, assistant director of Suffolk Festivals Inc., which puts on the fest.