Festival Queen contestants & Community Service
The selection of the Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen is a long-standing tradition that dates back to 1960, the year before Urbanna Days became the Urbanna Oyster Festival. The first queen was crowned on a flatbed trailer on the day of the festival.
The tradition of crowning a Little Miss Spat along with the Queen began in 1966.
As the Oyster Festival evolved over the years, so has the selection of the Queen and Little Miss Spat. It originally was a type of beauty pageant, but is now a scholarship competition for the Queen contestants, who also must complete a community service project.
The Queen competition starts early in the summer and extends until the crowning takes place on Friday of the Oyster Festival.
The crowning of the Queen at the upcoming 52nd Urbanna Oyster Festival will take place on Friday, November 6, at 4 p.m. at Taber Park on Rappahannock Avenue. The Oyster Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, November 6-7.
The Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen Scholarship Competition awards scholarships to the top three Queen finishers and Miss Congeniality.
The scholarships are available through the generosity of local sponsors—BB&T Bank, Bethpage Camp-Resort, Bon Se-cours Richmond Health System, Bristow-Faulkner Funeral Home, C&F Bank, Colonial Virginia Bank, EVB Bank, Grey’s Point Camp, Rappahannock Concrete Corporation, Rosegill LLC, and Thurston Properties.
The 2009 Urbanna Oyster Festival sponsors include BB&T Bank, Bon Secours, C&F Bank, EVB Bank, GEICO, Kathleen M. Hall CPA, Rappahannock General Hospital, Revere Gas and Appliance, Rosegill Development LLC, The Allen Group Inc., and the Virginia Lottery.
The Southside Sentinel will profile two Queen contestants and their Little Miss Spat contestants each week. Each Queen contestant wrote a press release on their project and background.
As in the past, Queen contestants must be a high school senior and a resident of Middlesex County. Each Queen contestant selects a girl in the first grade to compete as her Little Miss Spat. (A “spat” is a baby oyster.) The Little Miss Spat finalists are selected independently of the Queen.
The judges are not residents of Middlesex County.
This year’s Queen contestants, in alphabetical order, and their Little Miss Spat hopefuls include: Lindsey Ballantyne and Natalie Cutler, Amanda Blake and Jenna Ancell, JaLisa Carter and Airiana Beverley, Sarah Daniel and Janie Allen, Susan Dunaway and Kaelyn Sibley, Cydney Fisher and RuthAnne Key, Maggie Hall and Laura Walton, Catherine Harris and Katie Brooke, Susan Heyman and Ariyana Jackson, Stephanie Hutton and Emma Gresham, Kendall McNamee and Sara Paige Murray, Libbie Randolph and Brooke Brohawn, Micah Reed and Laila Dixon, and Katherine Wood and Ellie McMinn. Madeline Hurd also is participating as a Little Miss Spat contestant.
Kaelyn Sibley, Susan’s Little Miss Spat contestant, came up with the idea of the program after participating in a recycling project during her school year. “Kaelyn was very aware of all the facts about recycling and she came up with some really good ideas,” said Dunaway. “She and I worked very hard painting one-of-a-kind trash cans for local businesses.”
The cans were placed at the Ricky Taylor Memorial Swimming Pool, Middlesex YMCA, Deltaville Ball Park, Middlesex Sports Complex for the Little League State Tournament, Urbanna Pool, Heritage Days in Deltaville, and Virginia Motor Speedway. Each can was unique and corresponded with the business. The cans came with a sign that explained what the project was all about and also included some fun facts about recycling. Together Susan and Kaelyn painted 18 trash cans.
Over twenty bags of recyclables were collected. At one point the plastic bottles that had been collected were separated and an amazing 2,900 bottles were counted. “I am very thankful for all the support and participation that was shown during this project,” said Susan. “We couldn’t have done it without you, Middlesex.”
Susan has been a member of Clarksbury United Methodist Church for 15 years. She is currently employed at Integrity Food Groups of West Point, where she helps produce cheese straws.
After graduating from MHS, Susan plans on pursuing a career in the medical field, and is especially interested in emergency nursing.
Susan has participated in many volunteer and community endeavors. In 2008 she volunteered with the Holly Point Halloween Festival. She also has served as a YMCA Counselor in Training (CIT), and has organized, participated in making, and delivered fleece hats for the Children’s Cancer Unit at MCV Children’s Hospital.
Susan is the youngest member of the Stingray Stitchers Quilting Guild.
She has been a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) where she recently competed in the State competition in Washington D.C. She was a Junior Class representative on the Homecoming court in the fall of 2008.
Dunaway played softball with the Middlesex County Little League program, YMCA Soccer and participated as a member of the Middlesex High School varsity softball team.
She also ran junior varsity track and played JV soccer. She has participated with the Deltaville “Sharks” swim team for more than 8 years.
Susan enjoys scrapbooking, running and especially enjoys fishing on Hatteras Island, NC. She has been very fortunate to have been able to travel to the Caribbean twice with friends and traveled much of the East Coast with family.
Susan is the daughter of Michael E. and Denise Dunaway of Wake, and Letrecia (T.C.) and David Moore of Deltaville.
Spat contestant Kaelyn Sibley is a first-grader at Middlesex Elementary and enjoys swimming, reading, learning to fish, and learning about recycling for the environment. Kaelyn is the daughter of Blair and Tonia Sibley of Hartfield.
Libbie started her soccer career locally and wanted to spread the love and dedication she has for the game with those in her surrounding community through the 2009 Middlesex Soccer Academy she held.
Organizing the clinic included designing T-shirts and finding sponsors, which included The Allen Group, Revere Gas, Dr. C. Ben Lennon D.D.S., Rappahannock Concrete, and Randolph Construction.
Libbie also planned the games and skills that the kids would learn each day. “Although planning took a lot of work, this was definitely the most rewarding thing that I have ever done,” she said.
Libbie donated all proceeds to the Middlesex YMCA’s Guardian Program. By the end of the weeklong clinic, with the combination of sponsorships, registration fees and donations, the clinic raised over $750 for the Middlesex YMCA.
Although the players gained some new soccer skills from the clinic, Libbie believes that it provided much more to not only the kids, but to all who were involved. “Having this chance to get in touch with kids from my local community and share the love I have for the game of soccer was the best opportunity I have ever had,” she said. “I truly believe that all who were involved brought home a lot more than a few new soccer moves.”
Throughout her high school career, Libbie has been involved in other community service projects, including helping feed the hungry in Richmond, Meals on Wheels, volunteering at the Christchurch School booth during the Oyster Festival, and visiting local nursing homes.
She is currently the president of the National Honor Society at Christchurch School and is a third-year member of the Honor Council. She is a senior prefect and has maintained a GPA of 4.0 or above throughout her high school career as well as a spot on the Headmaster’s List.
This summer she went on a Spiritual Pilgrimage to Ireland with her youth group from Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock.
Libbie also has been very active in athletics at Christchurch. As a freshman, she played junior varsity volleyball, varsity basketball and girls soccer. She won the Hustle Award for all three of these teams. As a sophomore and a junior, the girls soccer team voted her the MVP; and she was selected to the All-State second team as a freshman and sophomore, and the All-State first team as a junior. In addition to school soccer, Libbie currently plays on a high-level travel soccer team out of Virginia Beach.
After high school, Libbie plans to continue her soccer career at a small, private college where she can study international communications or physical therapy. Her top choices are Davidson College, Furman University and the University of Richmond.
Libbie is the daughter of Randy and Cara Randolph of Hardyville.
Her Little Miss Spat contestant is Brooke Brohawn, who is a first-grader at Middlesex Elementary and the daughter of Steve and Cristi Brohawn. Brooke loves to sing and dance to Hannah Montana and jump on her trampoline. She also loves anything chocolate. When she grows up, Brooke wants to be either a school teacher or a movie star.