Queen hosts night for girls to feel like a princess

Photos by Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
The 2018 4-H Fair Queen Melanie Roberts, center, shows Maggie Stemle, 4, of Ireland, left, Kaylee Hopf, 6, of Duff, Kate Kelly, 8, of Jasper, and Lilly Wagner, 6, of Duff, different ways to sit like a princess inside the Clover Pavilion at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Wednesday. "The important part of the night is to help build their confidence," Roberts said. 

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

BRETZVILLE — For Melanie Roberts of Dubois, 19, the duties of the 4-H Fair queen didn’t end when the animals left the fairgrounds back in July.

Even though Roberts is home from Indiana State University for winter break, she carved out time Wednesday night to don the crown and give back to her community with a princess night for young girls. Meant to boost the confidence of the girls, Roberts spent the evening teaching them to be princesses, complete with manicures.

“I wanted to show the community that we’re not just crowns,” Roberts said.

The evening began with the girls in attendance standing in front of a mirror in the Clover Pavilion complimenting themselves. When Roberts saw that it was difficult for the girls to compliment themselves, she decided to compliment each one of them. Then, she told them that even though they may not be able to see things to love about themselves, there will be others who see lots to love.

Then, Roberts taught the girls how to wave, walk and sit like princesses, just like the 4-H Queen Pageant participants learn.

“They were pros, honestly,” Roberts said of her pupils.

The evening ended with Roberts lining up nail polish in a rainbow of colors that spanned two folding tables. The girls got to choose their own colors, and Roberts helped them paint their nails. As the nail polish dried, the girls sipped hot chocolate and munched chocolate chip cookies.

The 2018 4-H Fair Queen Melanie Roberts, right, asks Kaylee Hopf, 6, of Duff, left, and Maggie Stemle, 4, of Ireland, what they like about themselves while standing in front of a mirror inside the Clover Pavilion at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Wednesday. "Just remember, all of you girls are beautiful and special just as you are," Roberts said.

Through a mouthful of cookie, Kaylee Hopf, 6, of Duff said that she did feel like a princess, and Roberts is her favorite princess.

Roberts is the first 4-H queen to hold events outside of fair week, Queen Pageant Chairperson Sandy Neukam said.

“She just has a knack for planning things for little kids,” Neukam said.

Roberts said she wants to plan more community events before she hands off the crown this July, and floated the possibility of coming home from college one weekend to make it happen. One of her ideas is a craft and science evening for both boys and girls, similar to something she did during fair week, though no concrete plans are set yet.

Maggie Stemle, 4, and her mother Stephanie, both of Ireland, talk with 2018 4-H Fair Queen Melanie Roberts inside the Clover Pavilion on the 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Wednesday.
The 2018 4-H Fair Queen Melanie Roberts demonstrates different waves a queen or princess can do inside the Clover Pavilion at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Wednesday. "I wanted to show the community we're more than crowns," Roberts said. 
Maggie Stemle, 4, of Ireland, paints her nails inside the Clover Pavilion at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville on Wednesday. 



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