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elba onion queen

Three young women vie for the Elba Onion Queen sash and crown

By Press Release
Sep 2, 2022, 6:11pm

There are three candidates for the 2022 Elba Onion Queen.  The winner will be announced on Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Elba Village Park.

Press release:

Emily Rowe
My name is Emily Rowe. I am an incoming senior at Elba Central School. I have lived with my mom and dad, Scott and Jennifer Rowe, and my younger brother Jason in Elba for all of my life.

I am involved in Girls Soccer, Basketball Cheerleading, and "Boys" Tennis in the spring season. I have had an active role in Student Council, Yearbook Club, Class of 2023 activities, Future Teachers, Student Athletic Association, Multicultural Club, and National Honor Society. I attended the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY) in the New York West chapter in 2021 at a wonderful weekend of virtual seminars in 2021.

I am a high honor student. I have been a dancer at Center Stage Dance Company for 15 years. I plan to attend NTID at RIT in the fall of 2023 for American Sign Language-English Interpretation.

I look forward to working with the children at church, taking tennis lessons, and going for long bike rides with my mom. I love Elba and am so grateful to get to be a role model for the younger students.

I'm proud of the academic and athletic programs that Elba has to offer and all of the support that the community gives to every member of it.

Amelia Brewer:
My name is Amelia Brewer and I am the daughter of Richard and Joy Brewer. I am 17 years old and will be a Senior this year at Elba Central School. My family has been in Elba for many generations. I live on my family's dairy farm Post Dairy Farms, LLC here in Elba.

I participate in many activities in and out of school. Some of them include Student Council, National, Honor Society, Tennis, FFA, Genesee County 4-H, New York Jr. Holstein Association.

Onion Queen is a great tradition that the town of Elba has kept running and it is an important tradition to keep running. There are many reasons why I am choosing to run for Onion Queen. One reason is I am passionate about AG-vocating and being the Onion allows me to talk about the great farmers in our community. It is also the Onions Queens job to tell everyone about our town and how great it is and why it is a place they should visit. Something that I hope to get from this experience is more connections in our town and gain more knowledge and experience from people within our community.

Isabella Mateos
I am Isabella Mateos, although most of my friends and family call me Bella. I am 17 years old and will be a senior at Elba Jr/Sr High school this upcoming fall. I am the daughter of Leandro and Emma Mateos. My father works at Torrey Farms and my mother is a bilingual preschool teacher at Agri-Business Child Development. I have an older brother named Lean, who graduated from Elba Central School and received his bachelor's at the University of Rochester and his master's at SMU Guildhall. He now works at Gearbox Software in Dallas, Texas.

I come from a very supportive family-oriented home where my family encourages me in my dance, bilingualism, and most importantly academics. Both my parents and my brother always encourage me to put my very best effort into everything that I do.

This past school year I was involved in clubs such as Envirothon, Masterminds, Scholastic Bowl, Student Athletic Association, Student Council, Senior National Honor Society, and was also President of the Multicultural Club. In addition to clubs, I was on the Winter Varsity Basketball Cheerleading game team and competition team and ran the Instagram social media account for the Class of 2023. Outside of school, I have danced for ten years and nine of those years have been competitive. I currently dance at Fusion Dance Center and am also on the Senior Dance Competition team there. I am an alumna and a dedicated volunteer at Agri-Business Child Development.

My hobbies and interests include baking, babysitting, gardening, reading, yoga, traveling, community service, and learning about new cultures and languages  

After graduating high school, I plan on attending a University on the pre-med track in hopes of becoming a pediatric oncologist. 

Photos: 2021 Onion Queen crowned

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 12, 2021, 11:43am

Georgia Luft was crowned the 2021 Onion Queen in Elba on Saturday night.  First runner up, Carolyn Sybertz, second, Laci Sewar.  Taylor Augello (in black dress) is the 2020 Onion Queen.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

Elba Onion Queen Crowning

By Press Release
Sep 8, 2021, 8:31am

Press release: 

The Elba Onion Queen program is getting back on track after COVID-19.  The Crowning ceremony for the 2021 Onion Queen will begin at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 11th at the Elba park.  There six contestants this year are as follows:


Dakota Brinkman 

Event Date and Time

Elba to crown new Onion Queen on Saturday

By Press Release
Sep 8, 2021, 8:29am

Press release:

The Elba Onion Queen program is getting back on track after COVID-19.  The Crowning ceremony for the 2021 Onion Queen will begin at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 11th at the Elba park.  There six contestants this year are as follows:

Dakota Brinkman 
Dakota is the daughter of Brian and Danielle Brinkman.  She and her family are lifetime Elba residents.  She enjoys going for walks with her mom and dog, shopping with friends, and being a part of this special community.  She loves helping with youth basketball with her dad, who runs the program.  Dakota also participates in soccer, basketball and softball.  Along with the National Honor Society, Student Athletic Association and Girl Scouts.  She is the Vice President of her class. Dakota’s goal after high school is to major in physical therapy. 

Selena Franco
Selena is the daughter of Fernando Franco and Teresa De J. Roque Roman.  She has spent her whole life in Elba, NY and would never want to change that.  The Elba community has had such a strong, positive and supportive impact on Selena and has helped make her the person she is today.  Selena is currently a Senior at Elba Central School. She participates in National Honor Society, Student Athletic Association, softball, and hopes to participate in basketball cheer in the winter.  Selena is very family oriented and appreciates everything her family does for her.  Her family has always pushed her to be the best version of herself.  Selena also enjoys drawing, playing softball, going on walks, and spending time with friends.  After graduation, Selena plans to attend college and eventually pursue a career in dentistry.

Adrianna Long
Adrianna has lived in Elba her entire life alongside my parents, Jeff and Kara Long, and siblings Jacob, Michael and Maci.  She is extremely family oriented and involved in basketball, soccer and softball.  Adrianna is the Secretary of her class and currently employed at Crazy Cheap Cars. In her free time, she babysits for family and family friends.  Adrianna is running for Onion Queen in hopes to give back to the great community she was fortunate enough to grow up in. 

Georgia Luft
Georgia is the daughter of Matt and Laura Luft and has lived in Elba her entire life with her brother Hudson and sister Caroline.  Georgia is a three sport athlete participating in soccer, basketball and softball.  She  has participated in National Honor Society, Student Athletic Association and FFA as a member and past officer.  Outside of school Georgia is part of travel basketball teams and has been active in 4-H since she was eight.  She is part of the fur and feather club as well as dairy club.  She has been a member of Genesee County Dairy Princess program for several years and really enjoys promoting the dairy industry.  She is also a member of the Padre Pio Church in Oakfield.  Georgia’s spare time is spent with her family, friends and her animals.  Georgia will be going on to college after graduation but is unsure of where. She is undecided in what career path she will head down but is considering business or law enforcement. 

Laci Sewar
Laci is the daughter of Marc and Darcy Sewar. She has lived in the town of Elba for her entire life and has made many friends along the way.  Laci enjoys going out to eat with her friends and going on camping trips with her family.  She likes making apple crisp and baking holiday treats with her dad.  Doing this every year makes the holidays extra special.  Laci also enjoys shopping and going on road trips with her mom.  She looks forward to these trips as it is a good bonding time.  Laci has been the class Treasurer since 7th grade and is a high honor student. She has participated in the Yearbook Club, Future Teachers, National Honor Society, Student Athletic Association, Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball.  Outside of school, she participates in travel basketball, volunteers at church, and is active in Girl Scouts, where she earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.  Laci is currently two thirds of the way done with her Gold Award.  Her Gold Award project consists of refurbishing the stations of the cross at the Elba church and making a station of the cross program for children in grades 3-6.  After graduation she plans on attending Daemen or D’Youville to obtain her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Carolyn Sybertz
Carolyn is 17 years old and lives in Elba with her mom, dad and  younger sister.  She attends Elba Central School where she will be a senior this fall.  She participates in volleyball, softball, Student Athletic Association, National Honor Society, the Genesee County 4-H program and she is a Genesee County Dairy Princess Program Ambassador.  Carolyn also works at Zuber Dairy Farm in Bergen New York.  After graduation she plans on attending a four year college to hopefully major in animal Sciences.  Carolyn chose to run for Onion Queen this year in hopes of representing the small town of Elba that has helped shape her into the person she is today. 

Elba crowns 2020 Onion Queen, 2021 Queen to be crowned in September

By Howard B. Owens
Jun 19, 2021, 4:48pm

Taylor Augello was crowned the 2020 Onion Queen in a ceremony in the Elba Village Park on Friday evening.

The 2021 Onion Queen will be crowned in September.

  • Madison Harrington was first runner-up.
  • Lily Thompson was second runner-up.
  • Fanny Venegas was third runner-up.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

Three contestants vie for title of 2019 Elba Onion Queen

By Billie Owens
Jun 26, 2019, 4:04pm

Photos and information submitted by Laura Luft.

ELBA — Three contestants are in the running for the 2019 Elba Onion Queen.

This is the 72nd year of the pageant and the winner will be crowned Saturday July 13th, at the Elba Betterment Committee Family Fun Fest, immediately following the parade at noon in the Elba Park.

Contestants are:

Morgan Harrington (photo above)

I am Aaron and Danielle Harrington's first daughter. My dad grew up in Elba and is well known for our family’s produce/nursery business. Although my mom did not grow up in Elba, she makes sure to be very involved in our community activities, events, and groups.

Both my parents are Air Force veterans. Their bravery and strength has always inspired and pushed me to be the best I can be. I have a younger sister, Madison Harrington, and many, many, different kinds of pets. I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I love my family more than anything.

I enjoy reading, writing, and playing soccer. I am the officer for almost every club at school: Class of 2020, student council, SZA, SNHS, GSA, SADD, and Revue Staff. I also enjoy participating in mock trial and Page Turners. I am a future teacher and play soccer year-round. I am also involved in 4-H with showing, raising and breeding rabbits. 4-H has brought a lot of joy to my life.

After graduating high school I hope to attend the NTID college at RIT or Keuka College. I plan on majoring in American Sign Language/English Interpreting. My goal is to be specialized in legal interpreting.

Kelly Mickey (photo above)

My parents, Joe and Sarah, along with my sisters Halle and Laney share interesting family dynamics. Juggling different sports, babysitting my sisters, and caring for my family pets are all par for the course.

My father is my biggest role model inspiring me during soccer while teaching me work ethics, and helping me during hard times. There is never a dull moment with my siblings. I am the oldest and it is my job to be their role model. Despite their energetic personalities I love them very much. My mother is a source of encouragement and honesty, I would not have made it through this far without her. Although our hectic schedules we always make time for family.

I love spending time outdoors. I like hunting and fishing and playing many sports. Soccer, basketball and track take up most of my free time. Soccer is my main passion, and I have been playing since I was 4 years old. In school I play sports year-round.

I also take advantage of as many volunteering opportunities as I can during the school year. Outside of school I spend time with my friends and family members. I enjoy working out and attending sporting camps.

I plan to attend college and become a dental hygienist. I really want to play soccer at the college of level. I want to do a lot of traveling, but eventually come back and live in Elba.

Isabella Riner (photo above)

My name is Isabella Riner, but everyone calls me Izzy. I grew up in Elba with my mom, dad, dog and two cats.

My dad is a farmer while my mom is the Elba school counselor. Being an only child has allowed me to have a special bond with my parents, and has pushed me to be extremely close to all of my cousins. My grandparents, on both sides, have lived in Elba.

Being a in close proximity to most of my family has been a blessing especially getting to see my grandparents on a regular basis.

In my limited spare time, I try to fill my time with activities that better myself and my community. You can often find me weight lifting at Pine Hill fitness or jogging through the village of Elba.

Additionally my dad and I hit tennis balls whenever we are both free. I often hang out with my closest friends or take advantage of the National Honor Society volunteer opportunities. I love painting and digging into scientific research papers. My friends and family, however, love that I have a passion for baking.

Eventually I would like to be a pediatrician or a gynecologist. I am an active member of the students against destructive decisions, Student Athletic Association, student council, National Honor Society, Gay Straight Alliance Club and Revue Staff all while being the Class of 2020’s President.

I play soccer and tennis for the school but take tennis lessons frequently.

I also volunteer with Friends of Strong and work at Batavia Sports Park to keep myself busy.

Additionally I attended the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference and the World Leadership Conference in Chicago last year.

After graduation I hope to attend a college or university for biology well on a pre-med path. I would love to go out out of state for college in order to broaden my experiences. I would also enjoy the freedom of being out of state.

Hopefully my tennis career continues after high school and I also hope I can coach young children in tennis someday.

Elba crowns new Onion Queen after revival of annual parade

By Howard B. Owens
Jul 15, 2018, 1:37pm

Maddie Augello (center, above) is the 2018 Onion Queen. She was crowed yesterday by 2017 Queen Emily Reynolds. The first runner-up was Maddison Howard left), and second runner-up was Nataly Galvez.

The Elba Betterment Committee also brought back Elba's annual parade, which hasn't been run for a couple of years.

To purchase prints, click here.

Elba to crown Onion Queen Saturday afternoon -- pig roast, two parades, live music and more

By Billie Owens
Jul 13, 2018, 3:11pm

The crowning of the Onion Queen returns in Elba tomorrow!

Saturday, July 14, is Pig Roast and Parade Day in Elba.

All are welcome for the Elba Betterment Committee's annual Pig Roast and the return of the Elba Firemen's Onion Queen Parade.

The fun starts at noon with a Kiddie Parade into the Village Park.

Food, bounce houses, live music, vendors, crafts, Mr. Scribbles and more!

The big parade, featuring the contestants vying for Onion Queen, starts at 4 o'clock, followed by the crowning of the Onion Queen. Fun continues at the park until 7 p.m.

Elba's annual Pig Roast and Craft Show is July 10th, Onion Queen to be crowned

By Zachary Lee
Jun 22, 2016, 5:48pm

The fourth annual Pig Roast and Craft Show will be held at Elba Village Park from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. Admission is free.

"We're expanding off of the Onion Festival to bring community closer," said Carrie Mudrzynski, member of the Elba Betterment Committee, which is hosting the event.

More than 50 local vendors and businesses will be there, along with live music. The Mud Pit is cooking the meat. Plates are $10 and you can choose from pulled pork or hamburgers, and more. The Elba Betterment Committee is providing additional food.

Musicians include:

  • Front Porch Pickers
  • Mac and Company
  • Bobby and the Pedestrians

Although the beloved Onion Festival is history, after it began nearly 80 years ago, an Onion Queen will still reign. The Elba Volunteer Fire Department is holding the contest, so the tradition will continue.

The Onion Queen Parade will start at 3:45 p.m. Eight girls will be in it, riding on convertibles, and waving, of course. At 4:30, they will crown the Onion Queen.

Beforehand, at noon, there will be a Kiddie Parade.

Elba sports boosters will have a dunk tank. 

There will also be four bounce houses, costing $5 for unlimited use, and various games provided by Extended Sound from Wyoming. (Prices to be determined.)

Antique tractors from local farms will also be on display.

"Our biggest objective is to make this family affordable,” said Joanna Soules, president of the Elba Betterment Committee.

On-site parking is provided along with traffic control by Elba Volunteer Fire Department.

"While there are many donations, this event is funded by the Betterment Committee using monies from previous fund raisers," says Elba resident Pauline Miano.

This event is rain or shine; there is shelter available in case of rain. 

If you are a vendor and want to be included you can email the Elba Betterment Committee at:   [email protected]

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to reflect information provided by Pauline Miano and "Kim."

Elba crowns Onion Queen for 2015

By Howard B. Owens
Aug 9, 2015, 10:29am

Emily Tomczak is crowned Elba Onion Queen during the 2015 Elba Onion Festival on Saturday evening by outgoing queen Alexandra Lacey. Runners up, from left, are Cecilia Villanueva and Sierra Holland.

No word yet on who won the Mustang.

UPDATE: The Mustang raffle winner is Clyde Easton, of Oakfield. No word yet on whether Clyde is taking the car or the cash.

Photos: Elba Onion Queen crowned

By Howard B. Owens
Aug 11, 2013, 12:04am

Kayla Casper, center, is the new Elba Onion Queen. She's joined by her court, Joyce Tristan and Katie Horton.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

Elba picks a 2011 Onion Queen

By Howard B. Owens
Aug 6, 2011, 11:30pm

Marissa Tomczak, of Elba, the daughter of Tim and Lynn Tomczak, is the 2011 Elba Onion Queen.

Tomczak won the crown over a field of eight finalists.

First runner-up was Marissa Pangrazio, of Elba, the daughter of Barbie Pangrazio. Second runner-up was Jamie Pcionek, of Oakfield, the daughter of James and Joyce Pcionek.

The other finalists were: Sydney Gallip, of Elba, the daughter of Stacey and Todd Gallip; Gretel Kauffman (bottom photo), of Elba, the daughter of Bill and Lucine Kauffman; Meg Stucko, of Elba, the daughter of Marty and Amy Stucko; Elizabeth Shuknecht, of Elba, the daughter of Robin and Dale Shuknecht; and Jenna E. Brown, of Byron, the daughter of Kathleen Miller and Gary Brown.

Gretel Kauffman is a correspondent for The Batavian and is currently auditioning four-year universities. She plans to major in journalism.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: The winner of the Mustang raffle is Edith Bezon, of Byron. No word yet on whether she'll take the car or the cash.

Jessica Pcionek crowned Elba's Onion Queen

By Gretel Kauffman
Aug 8, 2010, 1:00pm

(From left: First runner-up Ryleigh Rowcliffe, Onion Queen Jessica Pcionek, and Second runner-up Molly Geissler.)

When Jessica Pcionek was crowned Onion Queen on Saturday night, she couldn't believe it was actually happening.

"I was thinking about how I used to always go watch the Onion Queen contest when I was little, but I never really thought I would be up there doing it myself," Pcionek says. "I was shocked, but really excited at the same time because one of the dreams from my childhood came true."

Jessica is the daughter of James and Joyce Pcionek and has one sister, Jamie. She is employed at Post Farms and is a member of the Center Stage Dance Company.

She volunteers with SADD and at the Batavia Youth Bureau and is involved in many school activities including National Honor Society, Future Teachers Association, Friends of Rachel, Library Club, Drama Club, Senior High Chorus, Spirit Club, and Varsity football cheerleading. 

She plans to attend a four-year college to major in education.

The dream did not come true without hard work on Jessica's part, although she insists the whole process was "really fun."

"I had to write two essays and do four hours of community service, and then we had to go to a dinner interview and answer some questions. Then basically after that we just did the parade, rode on the float, and threw candy, which was really, really fun."

The other contestants were her classmates Ryleigh Rowcliffe, Racheal Cook, Molly Geissler and Jessica Hickey. The contest was open to incoming senior girls at Elba Central School.

"They're all my friends and I was hoping for the best for all of them," Pcionek says. "We had a lot of fun together and it's not like anyone holds a grudge or anything because we're all really good friends. I know no matter who would have won, we would have been happy for each other no matter what."

The newly crowned Queen says she loves Elba because of its size and the close-knit feeling. 

"It's a nice small community and everyone's really friendly and they're able to help you out if you get lost or something -- well, it's not like you'd really get lost in Elba in the first place. But you don't feel like you're just a number like you do in a bigger city. You get that community feel."

First runner-up Ryleigh Rowcliffe is the daughter of Garth and Mary Rowcliffe. She has two sisters, Alexandra and Meghan, and works for Oak Orchard Dairy.

She volunteers at Bezon Farms and Genesee Valley BOCES. She is involved in many activities including 4-H, FFA, and GAA. She plays varsity softball, soccer and basketball.

Ryleigh plans to attend school out of state to become a large-animal veterinarian specializing in dairy and beef cattle.

Second runner-up Molly Geissler is the daughter of David and Jane Geissler. She has one brother, Matt, and volunteers for the Elba Sports Boosters and the Oakfield Turkey Trot.

Molly is involved in many school activities including Varsity soccer, softball, and basketball. She is a member of the Future Teachers Association, National Honor Society and the Girls Athletic Association.

She will be attending the Health Careers Academy during her senior year. Molly plans to attend college to become a registered nurse.

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