BY DAN MCNEE
LISTOWEL – It was a very tight race between seven lovely, talented local ladies, but as in any competition, only one could be deemed the winner.
That winner proved to be 20-year-old Candice De Weerd of Listowel, who was crowned Ambassador of the 158th Listowel Agricultural Fair on July 17. De Weerd’s concise and thoughtful speech, quick thinking on the impromptu question and overall charming personality won over the three presiding judges.
“I think she’ll do a great job,” said Listowel Agricultural Society president Rodger Schildroth. “She’s a very talented, very competent young lady.”
Sponsored by Fischer Family Poultry Ltd., De Weerd will represent the Listowel Agricultural Society for the next year, taking over the duties of 2013 Ambassador Amanda MacCannell.
“It was such a close competition between all of us girls – I was just so surprised, I did not expect it at all,” said De Weerd of hearing her name called as the winner. “Right away I started to panic, I was like, ‘what do I do now, what do I do now?’
“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the weekend and the rest of the year now.”
Listowel’s Stephanie Farrish was named first runner-up of the competition, while Hailey Weber received the Ambassador of Friendship Award. Additionally, Rebekah Hamilton, Jodi Vanden Braak, Amy Kieftenburg and Megan Thompson were all vying for the title of Ambassador.
Dr. Barb Matthews emceed the event, which had the grandstands packed from the beginning to the time De Weerd was crowned. A spectacular fireworks display put on by the Fair’s corporate sponsors immediately followed the competition.
“I’ve really learned how big our community is and how much support there is in the Ag Society and the way we all come together,” said De Weerd. “It’s just so great.”
“It was the biggest crop (of contestants) we’ve had in a long time,” said Schildroth. “They were all really good – it was a hard choice for the judges.”