Court chosen for 2017
By Jane Myhra
The 2017 Iola Winter Carnival princesses are Faith Loken, Lauren Hayes, Madelyn Nelson, Kendall Johnson and Amie Smith.
The 56th annual Iola Winter Carnival is set for Feb. 4-5, in Iola. The event includes a lutefisk supper, craft sale, ice sculpting, ski jumping, snowshoe race, fat bike race, plus a free ice fishing contest for children. For more information, visit iolawintercarnival.com.
The court was chosen by the IWC Committee, which consists of members from the participating organizations: Iola Lions Club, American Legion Sheveland-Taylor Post 14, Iola Lioness Club, Iola Winter Sports Club and the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce.
All five princesses are seniors at Iola-Scandinavia High School.
“My family has been a proud part of this community for generations,” Faith Loken said. “I take great pride in this community and my Norwegian heritage.”
She is very involved in the high school band and has volunteered at several area events. Currently, she is a swim instructor and lifeguard at the I-S Community Fitness & Aquatic Center.
After graduating from high school, Loken plans to major in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“This major allows me to utilize my strong desire to help people in their time of need,” she said.
Loken believes people skills are important and always wears a smile on her face.
“It is rare to see me without a smile because I am a firm believer you cannot gladly receive something you do not give,” she said. “I think people need something in their lives to brighten it up a little. Sometimes people need to forget the bad and just think about the good for a while, and something as simple as a smile can make all the difference.”
She is daughter of Jon Loken and Susan (Hoyord) Loken, of Iola.
“I try to volunteer in my community as much as possible,” Lauren Hayes said. “I plan to continue to serve my community for the rest of my life and hope to spread it forward for future generations.”
She has volunteered at the Iola Car Show, Iola Vintage Military Show, Share-A-Tea, Iola Winter Carnival and as youth volunteer coordinator at the Scandinavia Corn Roast.
At school, her extracurricular activities include Math League, band, forensics, Student Council, National Honor Society, Leos and serving as senior class treasurer.
Her hobbies include reading, spending time with family and volunteering.
After graduation, she plans to study mathematics at UW-La Crosse or UW-Madison. She hopes to become an accountant or an actuary.
She is the daughter of Mike Hayes, of Scandinavia, and Mary Hayes, of Waupaca.
Madelyn Nelson has volunteered at the Iola Winter Carnival’s lutefisk supper for many years.
“I remember starting off as the water girl when I was younger, then as I got older being a waitress,” she said.
Her extracurricular activities include Student Council, choir, band, Leos, and participating in musicals.
“I try to volunteer whenever I can for organizations such as Lions, Lioness, Leos, Booster Club and church,” Nelson said.
She has helped at Iola Car Show, Strawberry Fest, Lioness Easter Party, Foundry Picnic and various concession stands.
After graduating from high school, Nelson plans to major in elementary education at college.
She is the daughter of Chris and Michelle Nelson, of Scandinavia.
Kendall Johnson is the daughter of Kevin and Wendy Johnson, of Iola.
“It amazes me how many people attend the lutefisk supper and keep coming back year after year,” she said. “When waitressing at the lutefisk supper, I enjoy listening to their stories and traditions.”
In addition to volunteering at the Iola Winter Carnival, Johnson helps at the Iola Car Show and other area events.
“I enjoy spending time with people and getting to know them,” she said.
The majority of her time is spent going to school, attending Student Council events and participating in basketball, volleyball and softball. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, kayaking, bowling and helping others.
Her assets are being a hard worker, a good role model and having a quiet but yet outgoing personality.
“I have grown up attending all of the Iola Winter Carnival events,” Amie Smith said. “My grandpa prepares the lutefisk while singing the classic Norwegian song.”
Her passions in life include animals, spending time with family and traveling. Her favorite place to travel was Norway, where she saw where her grandmother grew up and met family members who still live there.
At school, she is vice president of the chorus and plans events as a member of Student Council. Once a week, she volunteers at the Humane Society of Waupaca County.
She is the daughter of Linda and Bryan Smith, of Iola.