By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, MN Four lovely young women are vying for the title of Miss Howard Lake at the 32nd Good Neighbor Days royalty coronation Sunday, June 27 at 6 p.m. at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School.
Candidates include Amber Zubrod, the daughter of Scott and Dianna Zubrod; Kelly Utne, the daughter of Paul and Jodi Utne; Liz Fenske, the daughter of Danny and Kristen Lange; and Sarah Randall, the daughter of Todd and Imelda Randall.
The Howard Lake royalty committee crowns one queen and one or two princesses each year. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for girls to promote community spirit, involvement, and pride in Howard Lake.
According to royalty committee member Tanya Golka, the duties of the royal ambassadors go far beyond wearing a glittery crown.
“The royalty serve as public relations liaisons to the community of Howard Lake,” Golka noted. “They meet, greet, and share information about our community and Good Neighbor Days.”
The program provides young women with educational scholarship opportunities and helps girls develop new friendships and broaden career and internship opportunities.
Judging is based on five criteria, including acceptance of duties and responsibilities, appearance, communication skills, personality, and poise.
“Judges look for what is inside you and how you present it,” Golka explained.
Candidate Amber Zubrod, 17, is the daughter of Scott and Dianna Zubrod. Her family also includes a 15-year-old sister named Ariel.
As a junior at HLWW, Amber is involved in basketball, student council, National Honor Society, FFA, volleyball, concert choir, drama, and Slam.
After graduation, Amber plans to attend college in order to become a doctor.
“The best feeling is knowing that you’ve helped someone,” she noted.
In her free time, Amber enjoys spending time with family and friends, and participating in athletics.
The person she admires most is HLWW high school math teacher Paul Fobbe.
“Fobbe is very dedicated to what he does,” Amber noted.
Amber considers her greatest asset to be her “outgoing and positive attitude.” If she were given $100, she would donate it to a cancer society.
If chosen to represent Howard Lake, Amber said she would serve to the best of her ability.
“I have so much pride for our community, and I would love to show it to everyone,” she noted.
Candidate Kelly Utne, 17, is the daughter of Paul and Jodi Utne. Her siblings are Brittney, 19, Katie, 13, and Cody, 12.
Kelly, a junior at HLWW, has been involved in FFA and choir for three years. She is also involved in wrestling stats and volunteers at church with various dinners and activities.
After graduation, she plans to attend either St. Cloud Technical College or Hennepin Technical College. Someday, she hopes to become a pastry chef and open her own bakery.
“I enjoy learning how to cook different foods,” Kelly noted. She also enjoys drawing flowers and spending time at the lake with family and friends.
The person she admires most is her grandfather, Ted.
“He has taught me that no matter what is going on, you should never give up hope,” she noted.
Kelly considers her greatest assets to be determination, friendliness, and helpfulness. If she were given $100, she would use it to help pay for college.
If chosen to represent Howard Lake, Kelly said she would promote Howard Lake’s friendly atmosphere to other communities.
Candidate Liz Fenske, 17, is the daughter of Danny and Kristen Lange. Her 14-year-old brother, Zach Fenske, is a freshman at HLWW.
Liz, a junior at HLWW, has been dancing for 11 years, and is involved in the West Star dance studio in Watertown. During high school, she has also participated in softball, volleyball, band, and choir.
After graduation, Liz plans to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato, to pursue a degree in accounting.
“I also want to be involved in as many activities as possible, to keep me involved and to meet new people,” she noted.
During her spare time, Liz enjoys shopping, going out to eat, and going to movies with friends. On the weekends, she also works at the Pizza Factory in Cokato.
The person Liz admires most is her great grandmother, Evelyn Fenske.
“Her stories are so interesting, and you can sit and talk with her for hours,” Liz noted. “I used to spend every weekend at her house. We would play cards or bake cookies and make her favorite broccoli soup.”
Being “caring and easygoing” are two of Liz’s greatest assets, she noted. If she were given $100, she would either give it to a nursing home in need, or give it to a family in her community that is less fortunate.
If selected to represent Howard Lake, Liz said she would be poised and responsible.
“While I am at events, I will represent my community by being polite and courteous to others and to show how loving our community is,” she noted.
Candidate Sarah Randall, 17, is the daughter of Todd and Imelda Randall. Her 19-year-old sister, Jackilyn (Jackie), was the 2008-09 Howard Lake Princess.
Sarah, a senior at HLWW, is involved in drama, track, concert choir, concert band, St. Mary’s youth group, and dance.
After graduation, Sarah plans to spend the summer creating memories with her family and friends. A few of the activities she’s planned include camping at her family retreat, traveling to Oregon to visit relatives, and going on a road trip to Duluth with her sister. She is undecided at this time where she will attend college.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time in the water boating, swimming, skiing, tubing, and knee boarding. She also likes to dance, act, and sing.
The person she admires most is her sister, Jackie.
“She has shown me how to have a fine character and establish a greater and stronger relationship with faith,” Sarah noted. “She helps me become a better person, and I know I can always rely on her for anything.”
Sarah considers her greatest assets to be genuineness.
“I am very heartfelt and free spirited,” she noted.
If given $100, Sarah would donate it to the relief effort in Haiti.
If chosen to represent Howard Lake, Sarah said she would dedicate her time to being a good leader and role model.