Who’s the fairest of the five?

Candidates for 2014 Sheboygan County Fairest of the Fair share experiences that prepared them for post
by Jenny Kuffel 2014 Sheboygan County Fairest of the Fair and Courtney Booth Fairest Committee chair
Photos by Photos by Leslie Faye


MELANIE CYR MELANIE CYR It’s that time of year again! The Sheboygan County Fairest of the Fair program is announcing five candidates who have applied to become the next Sheboygan County Fairest of the Fair. The 2014 Fairest will be named at the Fairest of the Fair Gala on Monday, June 30th at 7:00 p.m. at Laack’s Ballroom in Johnsonville.

The Fairest of the Fair serves as the official ambassador for the Fair, welcoming families and individuals to attend the Sheboygan County Fair, Labor Day Weekend. Throughout her year, the Fairest is involved in county-wide events such as festivals, picnics, parades, adult care center visits and youth events. While attending these events, she is the public relations professional that shares the story of what makes the fair unique and inviting for all.

Each candidate was asked to complete a two-page application, a 250 word essay titled “Describe an experience in your life that opened new doors of opportunity for you and has helped prepare you for the role of the Fairest of the Fair?” and attach their personal resume. During the Fairest Gala, these five candidates will be highlighted in a live competition on-stage for the selection of the 2014 Fairest of the Fair.


NICOLE FENNER NICOLE FENNER To give readers a preview of the candidates and the exciting evening that is planned, we’ve asked the candidates to share a little more about themselves and some highlights from their essay.

2014 Fairest of the Fair Candidate Bios

Melanie Cyr, 20, Sheboygan Falls, is the daughter of Anthony and Michele Cyr. She is a graduate of Sheboygan Falls High School and is currently attending West Texas A&M . Her future goals include graduating from West Texas A&M and continuing her higher education in Horse Science Technology. She would also like to help the 4-H youth in the Horse & Pony Project.


SHANNON McCABE SHANNON McCABE Cyr shares in her 250 word essay, “I began to learn about the many aspects of agriculture during my agriculture courses in high school, FFA and through 4-H. These organizations opened new doors of opportunities for me. I developed my communication skills through Parliamentary procedure. Through leading of teams and holding officer positions I was able to develop my leadership skills, improve my speaking and presentation skills in a non-threatening environment. Finally, these organizations have given me the experience, knowledge and character that are essential to become Fairest of the Fair.” Cyr adds.

Nicole Fenner, 18, Sheboygan Falls, is the daughter of Allen and Debbie Fenner. She is a graduate of Sheboygan Falls High School and is currently attending Cardinal Stritch University where she is majoring in Elementary Education and dual certification Special Education. She is currently employed by S&R Restaurant and Bar as a waitress and bartender. Her future goals include graduating from college and returning to Sheboygan County to pursue her teaching career in special education.


DANIELLE NAVIS DANIELLE NAVIS Fenner shares in her 250 word essay, “The one experience that opened the doors for me was to be made captain of our varsity basketball team at Sheboygan Fall High School both my junior and senior year,”states Fenner. “This helped me develop better communication skills that I will use in the future. I had to learn to keep a positive attitude and always make sure to compliment the girls when speaking to them one-on-one. I am sure my leadership and communication skills will help me in interviewing for the Fairest of the Fair,” adds Fenner.


VANESSA VANDER WEELE VANESSA VANDER WEELE Shannon McCabe, 23, Sheboygan, is the daughter of Tom and Katie McCabe and Debbie Oberreich. She is a graduate of Sheboygan North High School and Lakeshore Technical College and is currently attending UWFond du Lac where she is studying prevet. She is currently employed by Sprint as a Sales Representative and Advance Auto Parts as a Key Holder/ Customer Sales Associate. Her future goals include becoming a Veterinarian and owning her own Veterinary Clinic and Animal Shelter.

McCabe shares in her 250 word essay, “It is hard to just pick one experience to talk about because they all have a great significance in my life,” states McCabe. “One that stands out the most is my trip to Belize last May to install solar panels for a community and educational center. This trip widened my perspective on life and how many different diverse cultures we have in our world. Belize helped me develop my leadership and motivational skills. It also helped me continue to pursue my passion,” said McCabe.


Jennifer Kuffel of Oostburg, who was crowned the 2013 Fairest of the Fair at the annual Gala last year, will pass her crown to the 2014 Fairest of the Fair June 30 at Laack’s Hall in Johnsonville. - Review file photo Jennifer Kuffel of Oostburg, who was crowned the 2013 Fairest of the Fair at the annual Gala last year, will pass her crown to the 2014 Fairest of the Fair June 30 at Laack’s Hall in Johnsonville. - Review file photo Danielle Navis, 21, Cleveland, is the daughter of Richard and Dawn Navis. She is a graduate of Howards Grove High School and is currently attending Concordia University Wisconsin majoring in Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry. She is employed by D & R Dairy Farm, Immanuel UCC Church and the United States Pony Club. Her future goals include becoming a doctor, physician’s assistant or a clinical laboratory scientist and continue her work with the United States Pony Club.

Navis shares in her 250 word essay, “I have been involved in the United States Pony Club for over ten years. When I joined this organization, I was very shy and introverted, but with the help of the wonderful people I met and through many opportunities I had, I began to realize that I had potential to be a leader in my club as well as in my community,” states Navis. “The leadership positions I have held and the experiences I have had in 4-H and in Pony Club prepared me for such a position.”

Vanessa VanderWeele, 20, Waldo, is the daughter of Jay and Cindy VanderWeele. She is a graduate of Oostburg High School and is currently attending Lakeland College majoring in History with a minor in Spanish and Non-Profit Management. She is employed by Pine Haven Christian Home as a Dietary Aide. Her future goals include graduating from Lakeland College and then attending a graduate school to get her Master’s Degree in Museum Studies or Management.

VanderWeele shares in her 250 word essay, “I think the experience that has prepared me the most for being Fairest of the Fair was being the 4-H summer intern last year,” states VanderWeele. “I gained so many new skills and opportunities from that experience that have molded me into a more confident and qualified individual. I created new programs, expanded old ones and really got a better understanding of the inner workings behind the organization. I learned so much about creating events and programs and following through with them, which has become a great resource in everything I do.” VanderWeele shared.

There is a three-person interview panel evaluating the candidates all day on criteria from their written applications, individual interviews, group interviews and gala speaking performances.

All attending will witness the candidate’s self-introductions, 30 second radio advertisements, impromptu question/ answers, on-stage presence, overall communications and knowledge of the Fair. Additionally, there will be entertainment by the Johnsonville Hustler’s 4-H Club, a farewell by outgoing Fairest, Jenny Kuffel and an update from Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Kaitlyn Riley.

The newly named Fairest will receive the Gene and Kathleen Kaestner Family Scholarship Award of $500 and the $250 LDS Dairy Systems Scholarship along with prizes. First runner-up receives a $200 scholarship award from Bill and Pauline Jens Family, second runner-up receives a $100 scholarship award from Mike Burkart Ford and all candidates will receive numerous gift items for their participation.

Over 120 businesses from throughout Sheboygan County have donated their products and services to the Fairest of the Fair program. In addition to the prizes donated for the candidate gift baskets, the sponsoring food-based companies will feature their products for the public to enjoy at the “Winners’ Dinner” in celebration of the outstanding accomplishments of the candidates vying to become the next Fairest. The interview day component of the selection process is sponsored by Acuity. For more information or questions about the event, please contact Courtney Booth, chair, at (920) 893-6823.


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