York residents have the opportunity to vote for the 2019 Yorkfest Royalty. We are thrilled that 2019 marks the 40th annual Yorkfest celebration.

The celebration has seen events come and go over the years but a few things remain constant. The Grand Parade and Yorkfest Royalty are aspects of the celebration that are highly anticipated. Over the years, the nomination and voting process has evolved to include the community of York.

Nominations were received by our office over the last few months and this past week, nominees were contacted to see if they would accept the nomination. All of those who were nominated were so touched by the fact that something they do as a normal part of their lives has touched someone enough to nominate them. I will tell you, it is a treat to visit with these candidates and hear the humility in their voices as they visit with me. As in the past, not all candidates accepted their nomination. The ones that opted to decline did not want recognition for their service.

This year, the bios and ballot will have a little different look to them. You will notice that there are no names associated with the candidates. The names of the nominees will remain unknown until Thursday, Sept. 5. During the Yorkfest kickoff, we will announce the names of the candidates prior to the crowning of the King and Queen. Voting for the 2019 Yorkfest King and Queen is now open and can be done in person or online. York Residents may go on line to https://yorkchamber.org/yorkfest/ to cast their vote. If you would rather cast your ballot in person, we will have the bios and ballots here at the Chamber office. Balloting will close on Friday, Aug. 9.

We have three candidates for Yorkfest Queen and three Yorkfest King Candidates. Please take a few minutes to read about them.

Queen Candidate #1

How long has the candidate lived in York? 30-plus years.

What has the candidate contributed to the community through their work and/or volunteer work? She is very deserving of being recognized for all she does and has done for the residents of York, Nebraska! She worked at our organization for 25 years as department director. A co-worker said the following about this candidate: “She was a very hardworking leader in our organization and worked here for 25 years, until 2011. She took her responsibilities very seriously to ensure that each department was provided with the supplies and equipment needed in order to ensure great patient care. One memory I have from working with her for a few years was that she updated her phone greeting every day to include new cheerful comments such as “It’s a beautiful sunny day today. Thank you for calling Materials Management. Please leave a message and I’ll be glad to help you.” It was fun to hear what she had to say each day and often would bring a smile to your face!”

What makes this candidate stand out among other candidates? In her retirement years, she is an active member in York’s Cancer Plus Support Group and her church, First Evangelical Lutheran Church. Through the Cancer Plus Support Group she coordinates and organizes events and support efforts for cancer patients throughout the year. They deliver Halloween bags to the residents at Willow Brook in October, donate and gather holiday food boxes in November and December for cancer patients who need assistance, and in August and December they hold a picnic and potluck for members of the support group. While all these services are much appreciated by the recipients, the best gift of all that she and the Cancer Plus Support Group provide for new patients is their giving of Prayer Blankets. The blankets’ intention is to wrap support and love around the person while they are going through cancer treatments and recovery. One cancer patient shared how much they appreciated this gift during the most difficult time of his life. The positivity and hope it created for him was invaluable. I worked with this candidate for 18 years and in that time, I enjoyed working with someone you could always count on. She did a fantastic job of keeping up with the needs of all the departments, no small feat when you think of the scope of what that is. From cleaning and maintenance to surgical supplies, she had us covered. She and her staff even took care of sterilizing surgical equipment for over 20 years. Just as important was her dedication to working with vendors to assure that our organization was getting the best possible pricing on the things we bought, from day-to-day items to capital equipment purchases, she worked towards making the most of our funds. She was more than just a hard worker to me. She was someone you looked forward to working with. She has a great sense of humor and there were times it helped us both. She’s been gone from York General for eight years and I still miss be able to work with her. Any time that our paths do cross now, well, that’s a good day!

List groups and organizations this candidate has been involved in: This candidate is also an active member at her church, First Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has diligently served on several leadership committees over the years including the stewardship and church council. This candidate is also a driving force for the church’s Quilting Ministry Team. She meets with this dedicated group every Thursday morning to cut fabric and piece the quilts together to donate to several different organizations locally, state-wide and overseas. Last year alone, she and the quilting group made over 100 quilts.

Please share anything additional about the candidate: She is the type of person who is always willing to roll her sleeves up and help out wherever there is a need. She has the attitude of a leader and the heart of a servant. She truly cares for others and wants them to feel love and care when they need it most.

Queen Candidate # 2

How long has the candidate lived in York? 33 years.

What has the candidate contributed to the community through their work and/or volunteer work? She is involved in many volunteer positions around York. She is very active in the Pleasant View Church and leader of the Awana Group at her church. She has served as a chairman for Christian Women's Connection as well as guide for their Stonecroft Ministry Bible studies for the last 10 years. She has been president of the Nebraska Czechs of York for about 10 years. She has been in charge of the dumplings for their festival among various other jobs.

What makes this candidate stand out among other candidates? She also volunteers at Blue Valley Community Action as a cashier each week. She has been a volunteer at the Living Water Rescue Mission for about five years and Tabitha Hospice for four years. This candidate shows the house at Wessels Living History Farm (five years) and has assisted with their garden work for the last two years. The Red Cross Bloodmobile has been fortunate to have her as a volunteer for the last four years.

Please list groups and organizations this candidate has been involved in: She is an active member of both the American Legion Auxiliary Bolton Post #19 of York and Irven J. Blum V.F.W. Post #1609 of York. She is the Chaplin for the Legion Auxiliary (two years) and Secretary for the V.F.W. Auxiliary (two years). Also, this candidate is a Gold Star Mother of both Auxiliaries as well as the Nebraska Gold Star Mothers. Gold Star Mothers are mothers who lost a family member while serving our country in the military. Her son passed in 2009.

Please share anything additional about the candidate: She and her husband, owned and operated a restaurant for 24 years before retiring. I have known her for about four years and I truly can say if she is asked to do something, she is more than happy to help. She also volunteers many times before she is even asked. She is pleasant to be around and seems to always have a smile.

Queen Candidate # 3

How long has the candidate lived in York? 50 years.

What has the candidate contributed to the community through their work and/or volunteer work? She worked in the York Police Department for one year. She previously had worked for the Holdrege Police Department as a jailer, dispatcher and paid fireman. She served as a dispatcher/jailer for the York County Sheriff Department for 18 years. She was a caseworker at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women at the York facility for 20 years. She served as a volunteer CASA with York County CASA "Court Appointed Special Advocate" for 19 years. She still is an active CASA case worker. She is an avid quilter having a multitude of quilts that have been given to family members and organizations in the community. She was president of the York Quilt Guild for two terms. She volunteers at the York Area Senior Center where she is a board member. She was the president of the board for two terms.

What makes this candidate stand out among other candidates? She should be queen because she is a kind and a helpful person. She is very knowledgeable, and is available at the senior center for people to talk to and do things with.

Please list groups and organizations this candidate has been involved in: She is a member of Cancer Plus in York since it started. She is a 20-year cancer survivor. She is a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in York. She is a supporter of Faith-Emmanuel School (supplier of quilts for their fundraisers and contributions). She is a York Dukes sports fan. She listens to the games on the York radio station. She watches the newspaper to keep up on the game results. She is a Nebraska sports fan. She watches the Nebraska sports on television and listens to the games on the radio. She keeps track of the game results in the newspaper.

Please share anything additional about the candidate: She received her high school diploma while living in York. While living in York, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management from York College in 1994. She received her Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Metro Community College in Omaha in 1992. She has been married to her husband for 64-plus years. She has one daughter, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She helps her husband dog-sit for their grand-dog five days per week for their daughter. She helps her husband work on their family tree and they have over 4,500 members in it for others to use. She has a large photo collection with pictures she and her husband have taken over the years on their many vacations. She does word seek puzzles, embroider, crochet or knitting in her spare time.

King Candidate # 1

How long has the candidate lived in York? 30-plus years.

What has the candidate contributed to the community through their work and/or volunteer work? The candidate can be found at any and all community and college events. Whether it’s a high school game at Levitt Stadium or a production at the Bartholomew Performance Arts, he will go out of his way to make sure everything goes off without a hitch and if a hitch occurs, he’s right there in the trenches helping fix the problem.

What makes this candidate stand out among other candidates? Not only is he a hard worker, helpful and patient, he is kind. He is never rude or mean spirited.

Please list groups and organizations this candidate has been involved in: I’m not sure of his specific involvement in organizations, but he is seriously always everywhere, helping everyone.

Please share anything additional about the candidate: This candidate is one of the best human beings I know. Not only did he shape my York College experience, but knowing I have him in my corner, has given be the peace of mind to call York my home, long after graduation.

King Candidate # 2

How long has the candidate lived in York? 30-plus years.

What has the candidate contributed to the community through their work and/or volunteer work? He has worked 20-plus years with the York Kids wrestling programs as a coach and as treasurer for the organization. He has worked with York Youth Football for many years. He is a timer, scorer for York College, York High School and Nebraska State wrestling meets. He is also a judge for discus and shot put during the Yowell Track Meet and has helped with the Hershey Track Meet for many years. He is active in York Chamber of Commerce projects, a former member of York City Council and helps with the maintenance at York’s Catholic Cemetery.

What makes this Candidate stand out among other candidates? He is a good ambassador for York activities and promotes York to everyone he meets.

Please list groups and organizations this candidate has been involved in: He is involved in York Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, St. Joseph Catholic Church, York City Council, York Country Club and York Gun Club.

Please share anything additional about the candidate: He has done a lot to promote York and is a great asset to York.

King Candidate # 3

How long has the candidate lived in York? 50 years.

What has the candidate contributed to the community through their work and/or volunteer work? He moved to York to work for Geiger Electric as an appliance, television and electrician from 1969 through 1984. He was employed at Nebraska Public Power as a Metering and Substation Test Technician from 1984 and retiring in 2003. He volunteered with the Yorkshire Theater from 1969 through 2009. He was Membership and Financial Secretary for the Nebraska Association of Community Theatres for 40 years. He served as president of the board of York County CASA "Court Appointed Special Advocate". He served as Financial Secretary and board member at First Lutheran Church for eight years. He is a volunteer at York Area Senior Center.He volunteered with York County Aging services during meals at the York Area Senior Center. He is a supporter of Faith-Emmanuel School (supplier of quilts for their fundraisers and contributions). He is a member of Cancer Plus in York since it started. He is a 20-year cancer survivor. He belongs to the Disabled American Veterans.He is a Disabled Navy Veteran of eight years of service, having served from 1955 through 1963.

What makes this candidate stand out among other candidates? He is TOPS. Such a neat guy, with a sweet smile. What a kind person who is very knowledgeable and easy going. He is available at the senior center, along with his wife, doing puzzles and talking with everyone.

Please list groups and organizations this candidate has been involved in: He is a member of York Bowling League and is a York sports fan. He is a Nebraska sports fan. He now needs to watch the sports on television due to his disabilities.

Please share anything additional about the candidate: He has one daughter, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He helps his wife dog-sit for their grand-dog five days per week for their daughter. He working on his family tree and has over 4,000 members in it for others to use. He has a large photo collection with pictures he has taken over the years while on many vacations. He does sudoku puzzles for a pastime.

As you can see, we have some pretty remarkable people serving the York Community. Stay tuned to Chamber Chat, our website and social media accounts for all the activities associated with Yorkfest 2019: Back to the Future! #whatsyoury

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