PENN YAN—Penn Yan celebrated the holidays by holding the annual StarShine festival, Friday, Dec. 2. This year, due to the Liberty Street bridge closure and Main Street detour, StarShine was predominantly held at the county courthouse/Penn Yan Public Library. In the packed courthouse lawn Abigail Eaves was crowned Miss Penn Yan.
Information about each of this year’s six candidates, including activities and their essays on what they would do if they were in charge of Penn Yan for one day follow:
Alyssa Broome Sponsor: Penn Yan Fire Department. Activities: Class of 2013 Treasurer, Yearbook Club, Art Club, International Club, Interact, H.E.R.O., Academic Excellence, Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteer at Yates County Humane Society, volunteer at Milly’s Pantry, swim instructor at the Jerusalem recreation program, member of Relay for Life Footprint Team, helped with planning of Junior Prom/Senior Ball, Excellence Award for Spanish. “If I was in charge of Penn Yan for a day, I would have members of the community come together to fix up this amazing town we live in. I would have people pick-up trash along the roads, plant gardens around town, as well as fixing up houses and buildings within the town. I would also have a group clean up and fix the local playground located on Lake Street. This would enhance the beauty our town already possesses.”
Abigail Eaves Sponsor: Penn Yan Manor. Activities: PYA Superior Honor Roll, Academic Excellence, International Club President, HUBBA, Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Ski Club, Penn Yan Manor volunteer, Empire State Quarter Horse Youth Association, delegate of National Youth Leadership Conference on Medicine, Worship leader, Sunday School assistant and Youth Group at Crosswinds Wesleyan Church. “If I were to have the privilege of assuming a role of leadership in the community of Penn Yan for one day, I would declare a ‘Pay it Back, Pay it Forward’ Day. I believe more recognition should be given to those who have helped us all to become the citizens we are today, young and old alike. This day would encourage all members of our small society to reflect, recognize and respond to the influential individuals who have had an effect on their life, whether it was small or grand. The second aspect of the day would include those people who received the recognition initially to in turn pay it forward, thus starting a chain effect of gratitude throughout the community, and hopefully continue the idea long into the future generations of Penn Yan.”
Elizabeth Gavigan Sponsor: Penn Yan Rotary Club. Activities: Interact, Honor roll, Select Choir, Concert Choir, Natural Helpers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Treasurer of Drama Club, Treasurer of Junior Class, assisting in directing plays at PYA, Youth Group, assisting Lyn Strong in creating dances for Junior Mustangs cheerleading team, Babysitting. “There are many things I would love to do to help improve our community if I was in charge for one day. If I was in charge for one day, I would start a program that would meet weekly and have events monthly for the whole community in order to unite us. In this program we would try to create events which encouraged intergenerational relations. I believe that if we unite our community and generations there will be less drugs and violence. This could happen because through free monthly events for the community we could all learn about each other.”
Brittany Griffin Sponsor: Penn Yan Chapter of the Future Farmers of America. Activities: FFA student advisor, FFA President 2010-11, President of International Harvesters 4-H Club, Vice-president of Yates County 4-H Teen Ambassadors, Petting Zoos for Arc of Yates and Keuka Lake School, helped set up and distribute Food for the Needy and Thanksgiving baskets for the Needy, Vacation Bible School. “The success of a community is dependent upon the people’s involvement in the town. Penn Yan, like many small towns in New York is in desperate need of financial and involvement stimulation. Around Penn Yan there are many local businesses and service agencies which give many opportunities and goods for those in our community. It would be wonderful if there was a day celebrating local businesses and service agencies, clubs and volunteers. This event could be called ‘One Day, One Community’ and it would be a day to honor and raise awareness of local businesses, clubs and agencies.”
Gabrielle Hollenbeck Sponsor: Penn Yan Lions Club. Activities: H.E.R.O., Yates County Relay for Life, ALS Association, Pep Club, Varsity Lacrosse, Junior Varsity Volleyball, works at Smugglers Corner Bar & Grill in Potter. “I would improve the community through an anti-bullying program ‘If You Really Knew Me.’ This program is a way for people of every age to realize that the things they do to try and be funny could really hurt someone’s feelings. I chose this program because bullying is a problem, not just in school, but throughout a person’s life. I personally have gone through bullying experience and realized that people really didn’t understand how bad it hurt to hear the things they were saying. But my main reason to start this program is to pass on H.E.R.O., helping everyone respect others.”
Emma Willing Sponsor: Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 1173. Activities: Academic Excellence, Superintendent Search Committee, Art Club, four time Scholar Athlete, Art Club, Officer of my Girl Scout troop, altar server at St. Patrick’s Church, Village of Penn Yan lifeguard, New York State lifeguard, Co-captain of Synchronized Swim team, volunteer at Milly’s Pantry. “To be in charge of a community would really give a person a chance to change the community for the better. If I had this opportunity for one day to accomplish this goal I would gather a group of community members to paint murals around Penn Yan depicting the natural beauty of this area. These murals would be scattered throughout the village to enhance the town’s beauty. This could make a plain wall into a work of art while showcasing our great community.”