The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Beka Compton
the Times 

Waitsburg Celebration Days crowns 2020 queen

Lena Berens has been working since October 2019 to plan a successful coronation dinner to fund her travels for the year.


January 30, 2020

Lane Gwinn

Chris Berens walks his daughter, Lena, through Waitsburg Town Hall, moments before she is crowned the 2020 Waitsburg Celebration Days Queen. The Berens family will travel to rodeos, parades, and other community events throughout the year to promote Waitsburg Celebration Days.

WAITSBURG-Scrambling to set extra tables up is a fundraiser coordinator's 'best and worst case scenario' and that is exactly what happened at Lena Beren's Coronation Dinner on Saturday night. Her hard work over the past few months blew Director Ann Adams' expectations out of the water.

Waitsburg Town Hall filled up quickly, with the expectation of 80 or so people, which turned into nearly 120 people. The walls were lined with silent auction items from various local businesses and generous supporters. Items up for grabs included four hours of electrical work from Walla Walla Electric, a ticket package from the Benton Franklin Horse Heaven Round Up, and a six-person inflatable float donated by Walla Walla's Tractor Supply Co. Lena was so successful in gathering donations that she was able to use some as door prizes.

Spaghetti, garlic bread and salad was served up by Girl Scout Troop 5383, and there are not enough words to thank the cadets that helped out. Cadets Jessika Lambert, Lana Schaff and Lillie Harrel and troop moms Amber Lambert and Danika Hankins jumped in to help bus tables and clean up after the event was over.

"I was so impressed with the Girl Scouts and their work ethic," Waitsburg Celebration Days Director Ann Adams said. "They were on time and all business. I can't say enough good things about them!"

After dinner, visiting royalty helped persuade the crowd to break out their credit cards and bid on handmade pies, cookies, and cakes. The top selling pie, a blueberry pie donated by Tate's Mercantile, sold the first time for $250, and the buyer decided to turn around and sell it again. It sold for $130 the second time, raising a total of $380. Either it was a really good pie (if you've ever been out to Tate's, you're probably nodding your head), or the visiting royalty was really good at convincing people to donate to the cause.

"It is obvious that Lena is taking her duties seriously," Adams said. "It took multiple trips to unload her silent auction donations. I wasn't sure they would ever stop coming in the door! She did a great job engaging with everyone that attended the dinner, and I'm really looking forward to working with her this year. Our organization is lucky to have her representing us."

Rebecca Holderman, the 2019 WCD Queen, gave her farewell speech, recalled some of the lessons learned during her reign, and gave Lena some parting words of advice. According to Rebecca, you can never have enough bobby pins, hairspray, or patience when you're a rodeo queen. Once her speech was finished, she passed the title of queen on to Lena, making it official with a custom crown and belt buckle.

Lena finished the evening with a happy and tearful speech, thanking everyone for attending and a special thank you to her horse trainers, family, and close friends. The new Celebration Days Queen raised just shy of $4,200, which will all go towards her outfits and travels while she represents the Waitsburg Celebration Days. As of right now, her first mounted parade will be in April, at the Asotin County Rodeo.

Lena would like to thank everyone who sponsored, attended, and helped out. Rodeo queening takes a village, and Lena is excited to add the people of Waitsburg to her village this year.


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