North Lincoln student Abby Jane Hord takes title
Lincoln County is celebrating the reign of a new Apple Queen.
Abby Jane Hord, a rising senior at North Lincoln High School, was crowned Lincoln County Apple Queen, a title which holds a $3,000 scholarship to further her education. At this time, Hord plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a political science major, putting her one step closer toward starting a career as a lawyer.
The 35th Annual Lincoln County Apple Queen Scholarship Pageant was held Saturday in the Citizens Center’s auditorium. Hundreds filled the audience, eager to watch 16 of the county’s most promising young women compete for the coveted title.
The scholarship pageant, sponsored by the Lincolnton Business and Professional Women’s Club, has historically served as the kickoff to the Apple Festival season. Contestants compete by completing a one-on-one interview with the judges, a business attire segment, a swimsuit segment as well as an evening gown portion, which includes an on-stage question with the judges.
For Hord, the chance to compete for the Apple Queen title has been a dream long in the making.
“When I was in third grade, the Apple Queen visited my school,” Hord said. “And since then, I’ve always said that I was going to do the pageant, as soon as I was old enough…and this is the first year I was old enough to compete. “
Throughout her term as the Apple Queen, Hord plans to focus on her charity work on Alzheimer’s awareness, a topic that hits close to home.
“One thing that I want to do as the Apple Queen is to use this (year) as a platform to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s,” she said. “Last year, I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s, and it really affected me and my family. So, I would love to start a charity in memory of him, and to just do something in the community to raise awareness and raise funds to go towards Alzheimer’s research.”
In addition to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s, Hord also plans to work on an anti-bullying platform during her Apple Queen reign.
“I’m part of Club Unify at my school, which has a lot to do with anti-bullying, and I would like to try to do something with that, because a big motto that I live my life by is to treat others the way you would want to be treated,” she said.
While each Apple Queen winner has focused on a charity platform during their reign, it is clear that these winners have all shared one common goal: to serve as a role model for their peers as well as for the children of Lincoln County.
“Being the Apple Queen means representing our county in a positive and respectable way, and for me, it means fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl, and hopefully encouraging other girls to strive to achieve their dreams as well,” Hord said. “Because it definitely was a dream come true when they called my name. It was really unexpected and a great feeling.”
The pageant also awarded three runner-up scholarship awards to promising contestants. North Lincoln High School graduate Sydney Elaine Miller won the first runner-up title, receiving a $1,500 scholarship. The 2014 graduate will attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she plans to major in Consumer Apparel and Retail Studies.
This year’s second runner-up title was awarded to DeAndra Easter, a 2014 Lincolnton High School graduate. Easter plans to use her $1,000 scholarship award to attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte this fall, where she will major in pre-kinesiology.
Madison Blake Looper, a rising senior at North Lincoln School, was awarded with this year’s third runner-up title. Looper plans to use her $750 scholarship toward attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she plans to major in Political Science and minor in Communications.
This year’s Miss Congeniality title, which holds a $500 scholarship, was awarded to Madeleine Elise Harrison, a 2013 North Lincoln High School graduate. Harrison is currently a rising sophomore at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is majoring in Political Science with a minor in History. Upon graduating, she plans to attend the university’s law school.
First Federal Bank also presented two essay scholarship awards this year, celebrating 35 years of Apple Queen Scholarship Pageants. The scholarships, “Community at Heart” and “Goal Driven,” awarded the essay contestants with a $500 scholarship. The “Community at Heart” essay scholarship was awarded to Miller, and the “Goal Driven” essay scholarship was awarded to Sara Catherine Santiago, a rising senior at West Lincoln High School.