Westmoreland Fair princess revels in leadership duties
Hannah Dillon has had a very busy summer, and she's looking forward to having an even busier fall.
The Mt. Pleasant Township teen was named the Westmoreland Fair princess on the opening night of this year's fair, receiving the crown and title on her first try.
“This is the first year that I tried, so I thought I did pretty good,” said Dillon, 17, of United. “I was really surprised and excited.”
Dillon is always excited when given the chance to help others, and her role in SkillsUSA will give her the opportunity to help young teens prepare for life and learning after high school.
SkillsUSA is a national career and technical student organization that serves more than 320,000 high school and college students and professional members in training programs in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.
Dillon was elected the state president during the SkillsUSA national conference in Kansas City, Mo., in June She said it's a title that she is thrilled to have and one she hopes to use to help fellow students.
“As the new PA SkillsUSA state president, I will get to run various conferences and workshops and get to help students be able to realize their potential they have to succeed,” Dillon said. “Being the president is great. It is one of the best things I have ever done, and it is not only fun but it has helped me work on leadership skills and be confident about myself.”
Dillon will attend many local workshops, conferences and events as president. She said she has enjoyed the traveling aspect of the position.
“I got to go to Kansas City, Mo., for nine days for the 59th annual SkillsUSA National Conference this June, and I enjoyed it.”
As the 2013 Westmoreland Fair princess, the teen has been able to do what she enjoys most: educating others while having fun.
“I enjoy teaching people new things and also learning about new things,” Dillon said. “As the princess, my duties include teaching people about agriculture and informing people how important it is. I also got to teach a lot of people about where their food comes from.”
In an official capacity, Dillon was required to be at many events at the fair, acting as emcee while also passing out the many coveted ribbons and awards.
“During my week I got the chance to go to almost all of the animal shows and pass out ribbons to the winners,” Dillon said, adding that she enjoyed the experience. “I had a blast this week. I did not get much sleep, but it was so much fun.”
While many young girls who are named fair princess continue to compete for the title of fair queen while they are eligible, Dillon said that one year in the spotlight is enough, and next year it will be someone else's turn.
“I love going to see tractor pulls, demos, concerts and going to the different fairs, but I do not plan on running again next year,” Dillon said. “I would like to give someone else in the Sunshine 4-H club a chance to experience it.”
Dillon's mother said that she is very happy for her daughter and all that she has achieved this year.
“I am very proud of all she has accomplished over the past few years,” Marcie Puskar said. “Even with the many obstacles she faced in front of her, I knew she would come out on top.”
This year's Westmoreland Fair queen was Hattie Henderson of New Florence.
Dillon will be a senior in Mt. Pleasant Area High School this year. She hopes to attend Gannon University, where she will study mechanical engineering.
Dillon lives with her mother and stepfather, Joe Puskar. She is the daughter of the late Bryan Dillon.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.