TROY — With ukulele in hand, the 2018 Troy Strawberry Festival Queen Brooke Klopfenstein belted out a message of hope and unity for all at the annual Queen’s pageant at Troy High School on Friday evening.
Klopfenstein, 17, a senior at Troy High School, was crowned queen out of the 13 contestants from schools around the county. First attendant was Krishna Brucia, a senior at Troy High School, and second attendant was Cassidy Poland, a freshman at Troy High School.
Klopfenstein, daughter of Steven and Tawnee Klopfenstein, showcased her musical talent by singing “Stand By Me” dedicating it to those who may be going through hard times.
“I actually taught myself how to play the ukulele a couple years ago and I loved the song and I love the message behind it. I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now where we all just need to unite and come together and I thought it was the perfect song for what’s been happening this year,” she said. “I looking forward to walking around and seeing everything and I love talking to the little kids because they really look up to us — we’re like real royalty to them — I’m just really excited to be involved in this way in my community.”
Klopfenstein shared how participating in the pageant was something out of her “comfort zone” and returned to participate her senior year.
“I decided to come back again this year because I had a wonderful time. Honestly, the pageant my junior year opened up my willingness to go out and perform,” she said. Klopfenstein won the $1,200 scholarship donated by Excellence in Dentistry Drs. Bentley, Stevens, Jones and Choi.
Brucia performed a Bollywood Fusion dance as her talent. The senior class student body president shared her passion for helping others, including coordinating a food drive to help Hurricane Harvey victims in Florida this year.
Brucia, 18, was named first attendant. She is the daughter of Haresh Brucia and Meghna Patel of Troy.
It was the first time Brucia had participated in the pageant. Brucia won the $800 scholarship donated by Faurecia Clean mobility.
“I’ve never done anything like this. I’m not a pageant girl whatsoever, but I wanted to try it. I went ahead and did it. I just wanted to share a lot of things with the crowd like diversity which I got to do in my dance,” she said. “If you want to show thing to anyone, this is the place to share your message. I think Brooke and I and Cassidy through our talents and our interviews, we got to share a lot with the audience and who we are and what we want to share with the world.”
Cassidy Poland, 15, is the daughter of James and Sara Poland of Troy. Poland showcased her jump rope talents she learned as a former Troy “Pop Rock” to the Justin Timerlake song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
The freshman shared how she wanted to try something new and “broaden her horizons” through the pageant experience.
“It was a big confidence booster for me,” she said. “It was a really good experience. If anyone is wanted to come out of their shell a little bit, this is definitely a good place to do it. It opens you up to so much and it puts yourself out there.”
Poland was awarded the $600 scholarship donated by Faurecia Clean Mobility.
The following list of students participated in the annual 2018 Queens Pageant: Abigail Hissong: Senior at Milton-Union; Katie Mullins: Senior at Tippecanoe High School; Miranda Houshel: Junior at Troy High School; Natalie Rocke: Senior at Lehman High School ; Aliya Ratliff: Senior at Tippecanoe High School; Aries Targett: Sophomore at Troy High School; Jaden Stine: Freshman at Newton High School; Savannah Crist: Junior at Troy High School; Evelyn Plunkett: Junior at Troy High School; and Randi Frazier: Junior at Troy High School.
Other donations were made by Troy Sports Center, Trojan Florist, Tall James Photography, Hittle’s Jewelry and Bev Kendal.
For more information abou tthe Troy Strawberry Festival, held June 2-3 with Hometown Kick-off activities on Friday, June 1 at Treasure Island, visit www.gostrawberries.com.