The 2015-16 Wellesley North Easthope Fall Fair ambassador Sally Draper relinquished her duties and handed over her tiara and sash on Sept. 13 to this year’s ambassador, Miranda Schultz, at the opening of the fall fair, after lengthy deliberation from the judges.
Schultz was one of three young ladies participating in the ambassador program this summer, achieving her goal of representing Wellesley across the province for the next year. Schultz, along with Cassidy Wagler and Stephanie Haycock practiced their public speaking skills by presenting speeches to a large crowd before answering a spontaneous question.The judges left to discuss, which took longer than anticipated. They said the women were all deserving of the opportunity and would have served the township well.
Judges were University of Waterloo professional fundraiser Whitney Albright, former Milverton Fair and CNE ambassador Brittany Graul, and local radio host Mark Paine.
“I’m sorry that we delayed this because it was such an incredibly difficult decision and we went back and forth. There was infighting, it got violent, lawyers were contacted. So please know that none of the judges are talking to each other anymore,” Paine joked.
“In all sincerity all three of you were wonderful in this event, all three would represent the area just beautifully this year.”
Schultz spoke about the importance of community involvement in her speech, and how you don’t have to sit on a board or committee to be involved. She sees community involvement as being a good neighbour, helping babysit in a pinch or shovelling a senior’s driveway. She said to never underestimate the power of being a kind neighbour.
“What and who make a community great? The answer I believe is the people that live there and what they do in that community. You see, great communities thrive because the people that live there care about what happens to their home and what happens to the other people living in that community,” Schultz said.
She said she has seen how community involvement benefits the person getting involved and the community itself. You are able to create relationships and the more connected people in a community are, the stronger it will be.
“Folks say it takes a village to raise a child. This is absolutely true. But on top of that I believe it takes the villagers to raise an absolutely great community,” she concluded.
Her impromptu question was ‘in the past you have volunteered for a number of events in our community, what would you tell a young person is the best part about being involved in the community?”
She responded, “I would tell a young person that being involved in the community helps to make you a more rounded individual, a more mature individual. It also helps you to create better relationships within the community and have a better understanding of what a community is.”
Schultz has returned to Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School for a fifth year to determine her career goals. She has a range of career interests including teaching, history, graphic design, and illustrating.
She has been heavily involved with school activities and in the community as well as a member of the Wellesley Youth Advisory Committee and by working at the Wellesley Library.
“You’re not my competitors, you’re my friends, it was wonderful to spend time with you and get to know you better. I couldn’t have wished for better friends to do this with,” Schultz said, addressing the other two participants after being selected.
Draper reflected on her year as ambassador.
“Where are you from? As this year’s fall fair ambassador I’ve had the chance to consider and explain. While fellow ambassadors are more tolerant of my lengthy explanation and keen to share their own than my classmates from Toronto, my answer remains consistent with the first time I used this introduction. Contestants, judges and friends and family in the audience, I’m still Sally Draper and I’m still from here,” she said in an ode to her speech last year.
She says the past year’s activities have helped her gain skills as a leader and an advocate for the community. She thanked the volunteers who help make the fall fair and the ABC Festival come together.
“Take as many pictures as you can and seize every opportunity and be proud to explain it’s not quite like a beauty pageant, it’s more farming and rewarding,” Draper advised her successor.
Schultz is already looking forward to her year as ambassador.
“I want to know more about what goes on in the community, like being a part of the fair board. I want to see more or less behind the scenes what happens,” Schultz said in an interview after.
She adds it was surreal when her name was announced.
“It meant a lot that I had done my best and it was good enough. It was a good experience,” Schultz said.