Paige Ridener is crowned as the 2012 ‘Queen of Hearts’

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The Switzerland County FFA chapter crown its “Queen of Hearts” at a pageant held this past Sunday, and junior Paige Ridener earned the title of “Queen of Hearts” from a field of nine wonderful contestants.

The difference between the “Queen of Hearts” pageant and other contest held throughout the year is that each contestant was asked to promote a platform of service that is important to them, and then discuss that platform as part of the pageant.

The Switzerland County FFA chapter then takes on the platform of the winning contestant for the coming year. Last year, Queen of Hearts Andrea Brogan’s platform was promoting the dangers of texting while driving, and the FFA worked with her to promote awareness throughout the year.

This year, Queen Paige Ridener’s platform is the Switzerland County Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Paige Ridener is the daughter of Lisa and Dobbie Ridener, and was sponsored in the pageant by State Farm Insurance and agent Jeni Scudder. She is a member of the cross country and track teams; and is a varsity cheerleader. She is involved in the Business Professionals of America organization; the Pep Club; Drama Club; and SADD.

She is a member of the Olive Branch Baptist Church Youth Group; has volunteered her time to ring bells for the Salvation Army; and also volunteers at the Quercus Grove Food Pantry. She was the 2010 Edelweiss Teen Princess; the 2011 Miss Switzerland County; and has earned All Conference and All Sectional honors in cross country for three years.

After graduation, Paige Ridener plans on attending college to earn a degree in mathematics education with a minor in business.

The first runner up in Sunday’s pageant was Kelly Kincaid.

She is the daughter of Gina Kincaid and Scotty Kincaid, and was sponsored in the pageant by Bar-Tie Reinforcing. She is the Vice President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; is President of SADD; and is a part of the student council; the Pep Club; and is on the basketball and track teams.

She is a member of Olive Branch Baptist Church, where she helps in volunteering at the Quercus Grove Food Pantry; and she also volunteers at the Swiss Villa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and with the Vevay Fire Department. She was the 2011 Aurora Farmers Fair Queen; and was the second runner up in the Edelweiss Princess Pageant.

After graduation, Kelly Kincaid plans on attending Franklin College to earn her degree in business or athletic training.

Hayley South was selected as the second runner up in this year’s “Queen of Hearts” pageant.

Hayley is the daughter of Carol Smith and Jim South, and was sponsored in the pageant by Color Creations. During high school she has been a member of the softball team, the volleyball team, the basketball team, BPA, FFA, Student Council, Pep Club, and FCA. Hayley has volunteered her time working with residents at nursing care facilities, helping Relay for Life, and participating in the FFA Homeless Project. She is the 2012 Homecoming Queen.

She was the softball MVP of the year her sophomore year and helped her team to win the regional championship title. She also earned all conference in softball both her sophomore and junior years. Haley was also all conference in volleyball her senior year, and all conference in basketball her junior year. She is a member of Switzerland Baptist Church.

After graduation Hayley South plans to attend Indiana State University and study occupational therapy.

Chosen by her fellow contestants as Miss Congeniality was Olivia Hewitt.

Olivia is the daughter of David Hewitt and Christy Cutter; and was sponsored in the “Queen of Hearts” pageant by Christy Cutter and River Ridge Realtors. She is a member of the varsity volleyball, swimming, and track teams; and is active in the FFA chapter, where she currently serves as President.

She is Vice President of the Key Club; and is active in Pep Club, is a Junior Representative; and is in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She is active in the Rising Sun Church of Christ Youth Group and serves as a Worship Leader. She is a Swiss Wine Festival chairperson; and was a part of the Sophomore Leadership Program.

After graduation, Olivia Hewitt plans on attending college to earn her doctorate in rehabilitation or physical therapy.

Other contestants in this year’s “Queen of Hearts” pageant included: Victoria Abbott; Elizabeth Nibarger, Samantha Reynolds, Korah Taylor, and Rachel Whitham.

Kaleesa Archer served as the emcee of the event, assisted by Andrea Brogan.