The 22nd annual Harvest Queen Pageant collected funds and blankets to support Comfort for a Cause in its largest pageant and crowned the Senior and Junior Harvest Queens in October.
Newsome High School senior Cameron Ipock was crowned Senior Harvest Queen. Ipock is vice president of the Splash Club and involved in her school’s FFA chapter and track team.
“Sadly, I have had several members of my family pass away from cancer, most recently my grandmother. My hope is that our blanket outreach, Comfort for a Cause, will provide a small amount of joy and warmth on what may be a very difficult treatment day,” Ipock said.
Seffner Christian Academy freshman Claire Thomas was crowned Junior Harvest Queen. She is involved in competitive dance, volleyball and the National Junior Beta Club at Seffner Christian.
“Everyone has a story, and Comfort for a Cause allows people to share in that story. … It’s not only about donating blankets; it’s about getting to have conversations with the people that we meet and building relationships with them. I love that I get to have a small part on a page in their story,” Thomas said.
This year, the pageant hosted 35 contestants who helped raise funds for fleece blankets for Florida Cancer Center chemotherapy patients. At the pageant, over 100 fleece blankets were collected in exchange for free admission to the Hillsborough County Fair.
The Harvest Queen Pageant has partnered with Comfort for a Cause since 2018 to honor former Junior Harvest Queen Taryn Storter Couch’s father.
First maids Jillian Towe and Lylah Linares said Comfort for a Cause is a way for them to give back to the community and see the impact the donations and volunteer work has on the lives of patients.
The nonprofit contest also raised money to support the program and offer scholarships to the queens. Ipock earned a $1,500 scholarship and Thomas earned a $750 scholarship after being crowned at the pageant. The funds for the scholarships and Comfort for a Cause were raised through ticket prices and sponsors.
For more information about the Harvest Queen Pageant and its partnership with Comfort for a Cause, visit https://hillsboroughcountyfair.com/pageant/ or call 813-737-FAIR (3247).