DARKE COUNTY — Ira McDaniel, of Greenville, daughter of Dawn and Shannon, is the 2017 Miss Annie Oakley, who was also the Runner-Up for the costume contest.
The 2017 Annie Oakley Festival will take place Friday-Sunday, at York Woods, Ohio. Part of the festivities included the Miss Annie Oakley Shooting Contest that began Wednesday, with the preliminaries, and ended Thursday night with the contest finals and a new Miss Annie Oakley. The contestants were tough, with the winning shots coming from 85 feet.
When asked how she felt about the win, McDaniel said, “It all depends on what God has planned for me. My friends were there for me and everyone was happy. It is all about honoring Annie Oakley and having fun.”
The First Runner-Up Kailey Fourman, of Greenville, is the daughter of Crystal and Shaun. Second Runner-up Hope Schaaf, of Greenville, is the daughter of Teresa and Raymond Schaaf. Hope said even though she practiced a lot, she was nervous.
“That is probably why I missed, but that is ok,” she said. “I had a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends during this competition. I plan to be back next year.”
The winner of the costume portion of the contest was Cierra Miller of Ansonia. Her mother Michelle Miller – Elliot made it in about 10 hours.
“We looked at several pictures of Annie,” Miller – Elliot said. “We tried to be historically accurate, with the fringes, the medals, the scarf and the layering. We tried to get it close as possible.”
Costume contest judge Shelly Soward said the competition was tight.
“We look for authenticity and just the spirit of Annie,” she said.”For example, Annie never showed her legs and she always wore medals.”
In addition to Shelly, Linda Moody was another costume judge and Dennis Soward was the scorekeeper.
President of the Annie Oakley Festival JoEllen Melling has been president for about three years. She said it is important to keep the memory of Annie alive.
“I loved Annie Oakley,” Melling said. “When I was in Greenville High School, my sister and I wrote reports on her. To me, she is a Darke County heroine, one of those heroes we just have here in Darke county. I just think it is great that the girls want to be like her, and that is what I see in some of them. Just look at their costumes! We are just thrilled that we had 11 girls this year. It seemed to be dying off, but we got more girls back this year. You see these girls get up there and shoot with such poise. It was amazing to watch them take their time in the shot.”
The other 2017 Miss Annie Oakley contestants included: Nina McDaniel, of Greenville; Megan Elizabeth Troutwine, of Ansonia; Mariah Troutwine, of Ansonia; Hannah Bingham, of Greenville; Morgan Hissong, of Bradford; Johnna Siegrist, of Greenville; Cierra Miller, of Ansonia and Layla Carrington, of Greenville.
For the girls who did not win, Melling is encouraging.
“Try again next year,” she said. “We have some that have tried out for three or four years that just keep coming out. It builds their self-esteem. I also appreciated their friendly spirit. I thought it was amazing to watch them come back high – fiving one another after the shots. It shows it is not just about them. It’s about the group and keeping Annie’s spirit alive.”
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