OSGOOD – Heidi Speer was crowned Miss Ripley County July 14 in front of a full house at the Damm Theatre, Osgood. She followed in the footsteps of her twin sister, Hanna, who was the 2017 queen.

After hearing her name called, the daughter of Daniel and Michele Speer, Holton, said, "I was very humbled and excited to receive this." She is looking forward to the fair, which runs July 21-27, and participating in activities there.

The Purdue University sophomore is majoring in ag finance and agronomy and after graduation wants to get a job as an ag retailer. She revealed, "College has made me more mature," which she believes was an advantage in this competition. There were a dozen girls participating.

She admitted, "Getting up in front of people was intimidating, but a confidence booster."

The 20-year-old, who enjoys landscaping, cake decorating, working around the farm and spending time with her six nephews, revealed what makes the Ripley County community unique: "People are always willing to get together and help those in need."

For her hobby wear, Speer chose to model her Purdue horticulture shirt because it was one of the first clubs she got involved in at college. The young lady will serve as treasurer of this group for the 2019-20 school year.

The queen captured the People's Choice Award, where attendees voted with dollars, which will be given to the family of committee member Kristy Sams, who passed away tragically in June. Over $1,600 was raised by contestants.

Speer also received the formal attire award.

First runner-up Abbey Knowlton, 17, is the daughter of Mike and Jennifer Knowlton, Osgood. The Milan High School senior described herself as "energetic, outgoing and loyal." She wanted to be a part of this competition "to get outside of my comfort zone ... (and) make new friends. I'm so lucky I got to meet all these amazing girls."

Second runner-up Malia Scheele, 16, a Batesville High School junior, noted after hearing how she placed, "I was very proud and surprised. I'm one of the youngest ... (and) I'm generally a shy person, but this made me come out of my comfort zone." When asked if she would rather live in the past, present or future, the daughter of Shawn and Mallory Seitz and Nick Scheele announced, "There is no better time than the present. The future should be a surprise, and it's nice to have the memories from the past."

Third runner-up was Shalee Harrington, 16, daughter of Dawn Harrington, Batesville. The teen said she was "very surprised" at being named to the court because "there are so many great girls here." She really enjoyed the slumber party, which was held in June, and felt it was a good time to bond with the other contestants. The Batesville High School junior, who is an active member of the FFA, reported if she could meet anyone living or dead, she would choose Abraham Lincoln.

Third runner-up Anna Liming, 19, is the daughter of Brian and Sandra Liming, Dillsboro. The Ivy Tech Community College sophomore, who plans to transfer to Ball State University to finish her elementary education major, emphasized, "I was very excited and happy I got a sash." She said the best part of the competition was "being able to walk out there on stage. It's amazing to be under the lights." She revealed what makes her generation unique: "We are willing to stand up for what we believe in and be bold and unique and show people we can change the world."

Lacy Engelking, 19, daughter of Davied and Lori Engelking, Sunman, was voted Miss Congeniality by fellow contestants for being the friendliest, most outgoing and personable. The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis sophomore revealed she would like to travel "overseas to Africa to help people in any way possible. I like helping people and would like to change their lives."

The queen received a $750 scholarship, the first-place runner-up was given $150 and the rest of the court $100 each.

In addition, best professional wear winner was Olivia Davis, 16, Milan, daughter of Bobby Davis and Lisa Davis. Committee members chose Cierra Copeland, 17, Versailles, daughter of Sam and Amy Copeland, to receive a $250 scholarship, which was donated by a local family to honor Sams. The young lady was chosen based on her caring and compassionate personality that was portrayed throughout pageant events. Those are the same qualities for which Sams will be remembered.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

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