State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) today released the following statement on Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Alexi Bladel of Rockford:
“Alexi Bladel has made our community proud as the 2018 Miss Winnebago County Fair Queen before making history this year as the first Winnebago County title holder to be crowned state queen. Alexi earned a degree in fire science at Rock Valley College to pursue her goal of becoming a firefighter. She recently made the choice to serve our country by enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she had been accepted into a firefighting unit.
I was very disappointed when it was brought to my attention that the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs board of directors made the decision that Alexi was to be relieved of her duties as Miss Illinois County Fair Queen and would not be allowed to participate in the January pageant when the 2020 Queen is selected. Alexi fulfilled her responsibilities this summer traveling across the state to county fairs, promoting Illinois agriculture. She is now being unduly punished for her decision to enlist in the U.S. Army Reserve.
I appreciate the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs and the extraordinary work they do promoting agriculture in our State. I admire their program and believe Alexi is an example of the quality of young leaders that they produce through the pageant program. However, I call upon the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs board of directors to reconsider their decision and allow Alexi to participate in the January 2020 pageant, the final event of her scheduled reign. We should celebrate her commitment to serve our country, not punish her.”