Saturday, October 9th, 2016 marked the 3rd annual Celebrity Dinner in the Church of Christ located in West Unity. The celebrities of the night were pageant queens from the surrounding towns. The queens in attendance were Amiyah Langham (Little Miss Bryan), Felicity Thiel (Little Miss Edgerton), Savannah Reeder (Little Miss Montpelier), Brynn Rodriguez (Little Miss West Unity), Sophie Eustace (Little Miss Williams County), Jenna Clinger (Junior Miss Montpelier), Alayna Langham (Junior Miss Bryan), Elizabeth Cheek (Junior Miss Edgerton), Katelyn Balser (Junior Miss Pioneer), Ella Calvin (Junior Miss West Unity), Gabi Bany (Teen Miss Bryan), Sadie Walther (Teen Miss Edgerton), Nichole Davis (Teen Miss Montpelier), Haley Wehrle (Teen Miss Pioneer), Aubrie Calvin (Miss Teen Ohio Amazing), Brittany Rosendaul (Miss Bryan), Melody Cheek (Miss Edgerton), Shaelyn Belknap (Miss Montpelier), Morgan Mitchell (Miss Pioneer), and Sydni Rivera (Miss Williams County). Each queen acted as a waitress for the night and served the community members who came out to partake in this event. The Montpelier pageant winners had the extra important job of recruiting individuals to also aid in the serving of food and providing entertainment for the night’s guests. Other servers for the night were Carol Carr, Megan Lamberson, Theresa Wehrle, Amanda Kreischer, Tommie Clair, Stacy Mckibben, Steve Yagelski, and Shawn Clark.
All of this evenings proceeds went to an organization called Queens for a Cause. “Queens for a Cause originated under a circumstance that is very near and dear to my heart personally,” Missy Sleesman stated before dinner began. “We wanted to do something to help someone. And, ironically, at the time, I had a coworker whose grandson just found out that he had cancer.” The coworker’s grandson turned out to be Noah Karacson, who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer last December. Through a tearful speech, Sleesman explained the purpose of Queens for a Cause.
“We started this to raise funds and awareness. What started off first was bracelets and a bake sale became thousands of dollars and multiple, multiple children helped,” Sleesman expounded.
Queens for a Cause donates money to families with children who suffer from a life threatening disease. Typically, the organization hears about the family by word of mouth then gives the family a monetary gift that can be spent anyway whether it’s gas, medical bills, etc. The group has a unique and fun approach to raising the money needed to help those children and their families.
While the orders were being taken and the meals were being served, several girls showcased their some of their musical talents. The girls also could be given a tip to complete a dare in front of the whole audience. These dares ranged from doing the chicken dance and singing to telling jokes, gymnastics, and routing for a favorite team. The audience also got to participate in an auction led by Shawn Clark, the Mayor of Holiday City. The girls auctioned off candy, floral arraignments, spa kits, ornaments, and autumnal gift baskets that were donated by the queen’s hometowns. There was also a contest called, “Are You Smarter Than a Local Queen?” in which the contestants faced a queen head to head in a Disney trivia competition in order to save the contestants money. Most of the winners donated their cash even though they were not forced to.
Overall the night had a great turnout and Queens for a Cause raised a plethora of monetary donations to give to those who need it most.
Allison Hutchison may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org