Shaelynn Lavrack of Montrose was crowned the 2020 Michigan Sugar Queen during a private ceremony June 19 outside Michigan Sugar Co.'s headquarters in Bay City. The ceremony took place after the annual Michigan Sugar Festival in Sebewaing was canceled earlier this year because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lavrack, 19, is a 2019 graduate of Hill-McCloy High School and attends Cornerstone University, where she is majoring in broadcast communications. She is the daughter of William Lavrack and Angela Youmans.
“Once again, Michigan Sugar Co. is fortunate to have found a young woman who we know will be an excellent representative and ambassador for our company,” says Rob Clark, director of communications and community relations for Michigan Sugar. “Her knowledge of our company and agriculture in general, along with the quality of her character, shined through during the selection process. We are looking forward to a great year with Shaelynn as the Michigan Sugar Queen.”
Also crowned during the June 19 ceremony were two queen’s court attendants — Haley Bell of Bay City and Alayna Celestini of Macomb. They, too, are serving as ambassadors for Michigan Sugar Co. for the next year.
Bell, 19, is a 2019 graduate of Bangor Township John Glenn High School and attends Delta College, where she is studying social work. She is the daughter of Rob Bell and Melissa Scherf.
Celestini, 18, is a 2020 graduate of Dakota High School and plans to attend Michigan State University in the fall to study engineering. She is the daughter of Jamie and Angela Celestini.
This year, Michigan Sugar Co. received 15 applications through its Michigan Sugar Queen Scholarship Program, with 11 selected as finalists.
Through the Michigan Sugar Queen Scholarship Program, the queen and two attendants serve as Michigan Sugar Co. ambassadors for one year. Their duties include public appearances, community service projects, interaction with lawmakers and agriculture leaders and helping to represent the company throughout the state.
After completing the requirements of the program, the queen receives a $2,000 scholarship, and each attendant a $1,000 scholarship to be used to help pay for college.
The new queen and court attendants jumped right into their duties, appearing June 20 in a mini parade through the streets of Sebewaing. They were joined by members of the Sebewaing police and fire departments, as well as 2019 Michigan Sugar Queen Channon Turrell of Imlay City and 2019 attendants Linde Bolle of Midland and Emily Jaremba of Saginaw.
The outgoing queen and court members passed out 2-pound bags of Pioneer Sugar to Sebewaing residents who came out to say hello as the float drove by.
“With the Michigan Sugar Festival being canceled this year, we still wanted to do something special and create a memorable experience both for our new queen’s court and the residents of Sebewaing,” Clark says. “There may not be a big festival and a big parade, but we wanted to be sure that Sebewaing is the first to meet our new queen and attendants.”