Kent’s Cornucopia Days crowns its new queen

What does royalty do the night before a coronation? Well, if the royalty is Miss Cornucopia 2008, the answer is: help perform surgeries.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, July 21, 2008 6:16pm
  • News
Mayor Suzette Cooke gets a chuckle as Cornucopia Days 2007 queen Erin Sheldon presents the 2008 queen Nicole Oliver with her crown during Friday’s coronation.

Mayor Suzette Cooke gets a chuckle as Cornucopia Days 2007 queen Erin Sheldon presents the 2008 queen Nicole Oliver with her crown during Friday’s coronation.

What does royalty do the night before a coronation? Well, if the royalty is Miss Cornucopia 2008, the answer is: help perform surgeries.

Nicole Oliver, 21, was crowned Miss Cornucopia 2008 at a ceremony July 11 at Kent’s Town Square Plaza Park.

The ceremony took place just hours after she’d gotten off her 17-hour shift as a surgical technician at Swedish Medical Center.

“I work full-time,” she said in an interview after the coronation. “I work in surgery, deliver babies, C-sections.”

Not that anyone at the ceremony would have guessed it to look at her. Oliver appeared all elegance and excitement in her simple black-and-white gown and hair swept up into a bun.

As Miss Cornucopia, Oliver received a $3,000 scholarship from the Kent Lions Club. She also won two separate $500 scholarships: one for academic achievement from South Center Chiropractic, and another for community service from the Kent Police Employees Beneficent Foundation.

She’ll certainly have use for an extra $4,000. Oliver is going into her junior year as a bio-chemistry major at Highline Community College, and she said she plans to move on to medical school after she finishes her bachelor’s degree.

Along with Miss Cornucopia, the coronation also named a Cornucopia Royal Princess. Tasha Nelson, 18, won that title, and with it a $1,000 scholarship from the Kent Lions Club.

Oliver and Nelson were the only finalists out of a group of 18 original contestants, according to program coordinator Andi Lanxon.

“I ended up with two young ladies who I feel are cream of the crop,” Lanxon said.

Nelson graduated in June from Kentlake High School, where she participated on the school’s dance team. She said she plans to attend Highline Community College this fall to major in Marketing and Advertising, with a minor in Dance.

“We can carpool to school now,” she commented to Oliver during the interview.

When asked what they would be doing as royalty at Kent Cornucopia Days, the girls – rivals though they may have been – completed each other’s sentences like sisters.

“Everything that happens at Kent Cornucopia Days…” started Nelson.

“… we’ll be there,” finished Oliver.

Oliver and Nelson went from the coronation out on a rickshaw ride, over to learn square dancing, out to various sports tournaments, info booths, and – on Sunday – to ride in the Cornucopia Days Parade.

The girls also will appear in six parades throughout the coming year.

The Miss Cornucopia Scholarship Program recognizes young women for excellence across a broad spectrum of areas: academics, community service, public speaking, and knowledge of the Kent Lions and Kent Cornucopia Days.

The program, formerly the Miss Cornucopia Scholarship Pageant, changed format this year due to a lack of volunteer program staff.

“As one person, I knew I couldn’t set up a pageant,” said Lanxon, who did most of the leg-work for the program on her own.

So instead of performing at a pageant, contestants went through interviews, wrote papers and submitted essays — a less-showy, but equally rigorous process. The winners were not announced until the coronation.

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