|Clare McConnell state’s ‘Fairest’; Blake Laws to serve on board
|Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:02 pm
| By DONNA RYDER
The Obion County Fair as a whole may not have been eligible for awards at this year’s Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention in Nashville, but local board and association members still have reason to celebrate.
Miss Obion County Fairest of the Fair Clare McConnell of South Fulton took top honors, being named Miss Tennessee Fairest of the Fair out of a field of 52 girls, and board member Blake Laws was selected to represent West Tennessee on the state level.
Miss McConnell’s court included first maid, Miss Wilson County Ashlee Morgan Agee; second maid, Miss Warren County Kaitlin Nicole Lawrence; third maid, Miss Hardin County Summer Hancock; and fourth maid, Miss Putnam County Savannah Benton.
She is the daughter of Ty and Babette McConnell and granddaughter of Johnny and Nancy McConnell, all of South Fulton, and Philip and Barbara Lampley of Smyrna.
The South Fulton High School senior is a Tennessee Scholars student and plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin in the fall to major in marketing. She lettered four years in soccer and served as her team’s captain this school year. She is an officer in the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization; is a member of the school Beta Club’s state scrapbook committee; is on the school’s yearbook journalism staff and is a member of the Pep Club, Future Business Leaders of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
She is an active member of First United Methodist Church in Fulton and works at Sugar & Spice in Martin.
In addition to winning the Fairest of the Fair competitions, she has also won the titles of Miss International Banana Princess, Miss CornFest and Miss South Fulton High School. She was also named to the Miss Strawberry Festival court in 2012.
She competed in the Tennessee Teen Princess competition as 2012 Miss Parson Peavine Teen Princess. Her platform was “Kidz Count” and she hosted a special birthday party for children from the Fulton and South Fulton area at the Willingham Center in Fulton. She recalled the day of decorating cupcakes with the children during the Miss Tennessee Fairest of the Fair competition this past weekend.
Miss McConnell is now a member of an elite club of Miss Obion County Fairest of the Fair queens who have achieved the state title. Others include Linda Shumate, Ali (Shumate) Fowler and Christy Jackson. Mrs. Shumate and Mrs. Fowler are the only mother-daughter duo ever to win, according to Obion County Fair Board president Brenda Baker.
Laws of Union City, who began working with the Obion County Fair Board as a member of the youth fair board, was elected to the TAF board of directors for a three-year term representing West Tennessee. He is employed at Tyson Foods in Union City.
Other members of the delegation representing the Obion County Fair included Mrs. Baker, Sam Baker, Tommy Wheatley, Janice Wheatley, Craig McManus, Josh McManus, Johnny Bruff, Patsy Bruff, Ben Jones, Ty McConnell, Babette McConnell, Tammy Sparks and Phyllis Rauchle.
They attended workshops such as “National Weather Service Keeping Fair-Goers Safe,” “Fair Themes,” “Putting Your Youth to Work,” “Staying on Top of Animal Health Issues at Your Fair” and “Extreme Makeover 990 & Charitable Solicitation Tax Issues.” Contacts were also made with various musical, comedy and variety acts who showcased during the convention.
Mrs. Baker said planning is well under way for the 2013 Obion County Fair, which is scheduled for Aug. 12-17.
Published in The Messenger 1.24.13