This year’s 10-member royal court has a combined total of 116 years of 4-H membership.
By ANGIE SCHMITT
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD — Leland Knauf, 72, hasn’t missed the crowning of the fair king and queen since he was honored with one of the fair’s two first crowns in 1954.
Knauf was among generations of 4-H members and past royalty gathered for the crowning of the fair king and queen Wednesday — Youth Day at the fair.
“I congratulate every king and queen we have,” he said.
This year’s top youth honors went to Chad Raber, 18, of Salem, and Tiffany Talarico, 19, of Austintown, crowned the king and queen.
Tyler Hawkins, 17, of Berlin Center, and Kristi Moff, 17, Ellsworth, were named outstanding youths.
“These youth have dedicated a lot of their time to their youth organizations and have done service projects in their communities,” said Polly Hawkins, a junior fair adviser. “We are honoring them for what they have done.”
It’s an honor that can make a lasting imprint, said Knauf.
“It’s affected my life, definitely,” he said. “I’ve always been involved with 4-H since then.”
Kim Moff, Junior Fair Board manager and mother of one of the honored youths, couldn’t suppress tears when her daughter’s name was called. Kim Moff stood on that stage as a member of the Canfield Fair’s royal court in the early 1980s.
Knauf seems to have the fair royalty gene in his blood as well. He went on to bear two sons and one daughter, each an eventual heir to Canfield Fair crown, he said.
“We call my wife the royal mother,” he said.
The king, queen and outstanding youth winners were chosen based on their leadership activities, community involvement and range of participation in youth organizations, said Ohio State University County Extension educator Janice Hanna.
“The service that they give collectively to their schools, churches and their community is just so impressive,” she said.
This year’s 10-member royal court had a combined total of 116 years of 4-H membership. The 13 candidates for outstanding youth combined for more than 90 years of service in organizations from Boy Scouts to Future Farmers of America.
For Wednesday’s winners, however, the service is just beginning. The honorees will be required to assist with the People Movers transportation throughout the week. The royal couple will be required to make appearances at livestock events and youth activities as well.
Also honored at the fair’s Youth Day were Derek Elder, 19, of Salem, and Rachel Stanwood, 19, of Columbiana. The pair received a $750 Darrell Bacon Scholarship, an award given and supported by the Junior Fair Board.
Junior Fair Board members given $500 Mahoning County Junior Agricultural Assistance Awards were: Katyln Eastep, 17, of Beloit; Kimberly Hill, 17, of New Middletown; McKenzie Mowery, 17, of Berlin Center; Anna Orlando, 17, of Berlin Center; Kristen Pesa, 17, of Boardman; and Lisa Pitcairn, 17, of Berlin Center.
To be eligible for the scholarship, each spent at least three years volunteering in the Pop Shop Restaurant at the fair. The volunteer-manned restaurant supports the scholarship, according to Martha Schaefer of the organization’s board.