With palpable excitement, 10 members of 4-H awaited the decision on who would be crowned Mahoning County 4-H king and queen for this year. Court members Meghan Svetlak, Jena Styka, Hanna Bond, Tara Balsinger, Emily Erb, Brandon Benson, Christian Moore, Levi Smith, Wesley Miller and Joe Fagnano gathered on Thursday, Aug. 29 as last year's queen Michele Awad and king Sam Barnhouse passed on their crowns.
For the past two years Canfield girls have held the title of queen, but that changed when Meghan Svetlak, 18 of Poland, received the honor.
"I am excited to have this position because, since my first year in 4-H, I have watched club members be queen and it has always been my dream to be queen someday. I am honored to be able to represent the 4-H community," said Svetlak, after being crowned.
The 2013 Mahoning County Royal Court are, in front: 2013 queen Meghan Svetlak (sitting), Tara Balsinger and Jena Styka; in the middle: Hanna Bond, 2013 king Brandon Benson, Joe Fagnano, and Emily Erb, Wesley Miller; and in back: Christian Moore and Levi Smith.
For the anxious guys, Barnhouse bestowed his crown on Benson, 19 of Youngstown. The son of Edward and Anngel Benson, he has been a 4-H member for nine years. Benson has served as a camp counselor at 4-H Camp Whitewood and Ohio State 4-H Leadership Camp. He plans to attend Youngstown State University to study art education.
Benson said of his upcoming reign,"I love 4-H and there was a lot of competition this year. It's an honor to be with each and every court member."
Svetlak, the daughter of Rick and Lisa Svetlak, has been a member of 4-H for nine years, is a member of the Mahoning County Junior Fair Board and has shown rabbits, goats and pocket pets. When asked about her future, Svetlak says she plans to graduate from Kent State with a degree in veterinary technology.