Hannah Foerster emerged with a crown from the first pageant in which she’s ever competed.
The 2009 Lakeside High School graduate was named Miss Columbia County Fair Queen on Saturday during the 39th annual pageant at Greenbrier High School.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” the 20-year-old said. “I’m honestly speechless and I just hope I can make Columbia County proud in the state pageant.”
In addition to competing in the state pageant in January, Foerster will cut the ribbon for the Nov. 3 opening of The Merchant Association of Columbia County’s fair.
Foerster’s duties as queen also include her acting as an honorary Christmas tree lighter at the Columbia County tree lighting Dec. 3 and riding in the Martinez-Evans Christmas parade Dec. 4.
Nineteen contestants were interviewed by judges before the pageant began. The interview scores as well as those from the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the pageant were tallied to select the winner.
Foerster said she made the decision just two weeks ago to enter the pageant and thanked God, family, friends and the other pageant contestants for making the pageant a positive experience.
“I had so much fun and I didn’t know it was going to be such a great experience,” she said. “I’m more than glad that I did it whether I won or not.”
Foerster, who is enrolled at Augusta State University, hopes to become a marketing executive. Her dream, she said, is to start a foundation helping women with cancer or other terminal illnesses feel beautiful.
Foerster said she recently was inspired to donate 12 inches of her hair to Locks of Love after a woman with cancer came to Georgia Bank & Trust, where she works as a teller.
Pageant director Pat Becton said Foerster’s personable qualities should help her do well in the state pageant.
“I just think she’s genuine,” Becton said. “I’m sure she interviewed well.”
Foerster received $500 in addition to the fair title.