NEW BETHLEHEM – Three area girls are vying for the title of New Bethlehem Peanut Butter Festival Queen, along with the scholarship money that comes with the crown.

The winner will be crowned on stage at the festival this Friday at 6 p.m. In case of rain, the crowning will move to the New Bethlehem First United Methodist Church along Penn Street.

Final judging for the event was held recently at the meeting of the New Bethlehem Civic Club, which oversees the contest.

The winner receives a $2,000 scholarship, while the runner-up receives a $1,000 scholarship, both provided by contest sponsor J.M. Smucker (PA) Inc.

This year’s contestants are:

• Brooklyn Hepler, a sophomore at Penn State DuBois, is the daughter of David and Lindsay Hepler of New Bethlehem.

During her time at Redbank Valley High School, Hepler served as the secretary for Drama Club in 2019-2020, and was involved in Travel Club, Bible Club, concert band, marching band, the school musical, Grace Baptist Youth Group, Occupational Therapy Club, and a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and was nominated as Student of the Week.

Hepler is a waitress for the New Bethlehem Fire Company’s fish dinners, a tutor for students in third through sixth grades at the Redbank Valley Community Center, and a counselor for Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Kids.

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After completing her education at Penn State DuBois, Hepler plans to become an Occupational Therapist Assistant.

• Josie Neiswonger, a junior at Redbank Valley High School, is the daughter of Joshua and Laura Neiswonger of New Bethlehem.

At school, Neiswonger is a member of the softball team, marching band and involved in school musicals. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Tri-M Honor Society.

Neiswonger volunteers and works as a babysitter and at Sweet Delights, serves as the secretary for FFA, and is a Bible Club Leader.

Her future plans are to become a Registered Nurse and work with children.

• Jenna Procious, a senior at Redbank Valley High School, is the daughter of Jason Procious of Hawthorn.

At Redbank Valley, Procious is involved in marching band, concert band, community band and choir. She is a member of the Redbank Valley Chapter of the National Honor Society, as well as the Music National Honor Society, Tri-M.

Procious currently works at Zack’s Restaurant in New Bethlehem.

Her future plans are to attend college to study Forensic Science.

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