Miss Mary Paige Linder, daughter of John and Blane Linder of Gladewater, was announced as the winner to be crowned Queen Yam LXXV to reign over the 75th East Texas Yamboree this coming Oct. 17-20.
She represented the Bluebonnet Club.
She is the first Yamboree Queen from Gladewater, as well as being the first candidate in recent memory from Gladewater. (The Yamboree did not require the candidate to be from Upshur County until Ann Wilkinson of Mount Pleasant won in 1946.)
Princess will be Shelby Denise Hutto, who attends Harmony High School.
The announcement of the winner, which is based on sales of tickets and vouchers to the Yamboree Barn Dance and vouchers for the Queen’s Coronation by candidates sponsored by seven service clubs, was made at First National Bank of Gilmer after receipts were tallied late Friday afternoon at the bank. This year, lapel pins were also sold.
The announcement of Miss Linder’s winning the crown came after a week of grieving following a tragedy in her family.
Her uncle Brent Young, 45, and Kennedi Burks, 7-month-old daughter of her cousin, died of injuries from a recent 3-vehicle wreck near White Oak.
The amount raised by the seven candidates totalled $329,800, a record. (Amounts turned in by individual candidates is not made public.)
Miss Linder is the granddaughter of the late John Linder, Sr. and Carolyn Linder, and Rosemary and Galen Thomas.
She is a senior at Gladewater High School where she is a National Honor Society member. High School activities include FFA vice president, class favorite, homecoming duchess, farm skill state contender Student Council representative, varsity cheerleader, Key Club member, class vice president, Yamboree Livestock Board member, and FFA Show Team.
“My philosophy of life is very simple,” she said. “Matthew 5:16 says ‘so let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.’ I get so caught up with the chaos that I forget my true purpose in life is to serve God. You can be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
She plans to attend Texas Tech, and hopes to be a member of the Red Raider Show Team and obtain a business degree.
Miss Hutto, daughter of Kristie Hutto and David Hutto, a senior at Harmony High School, represented the Gilmer Rotary Club.
She is the granddaughter of Doug and Betty Reeves of Rosewood and Angelia Leslie of Longview. Her great-grandparents are the late Winston and Mary Still and Lula Mae Nutt and the late Harold Nutt.
At Harmony High School, she is a member of FFA, the FFA Show Team, and Student Council. Athletic activities include volleyball, softball, and powerlifting, and she is a cheerleader.
Miss Hutto is a member of Harmony United Methodist Church.
“In life, I believe that everything happens for a reason,” she said. “We all have a purpose here on earth. We must forgive and forget. And most importantly, we must live each day as if it was our last. With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26.”
She plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler, then transfer to San Antonio to further her education as a dentist.