Tanaha Simon named NVFD Queen

Wanda English Burnett

To celebrate the Napoleon Volunteer Fire Department’s 125 years of operation a queen contest was held Friday night at their annual picnic. This was a contest that had been held for three years back in the ‘60’s, but was discontinued, according to Lila Neal of Osgood, who was emcee for the event and also a past queen.

Tanaha Simon, daughter of Mike and Janice Simon of Osgood, took the honor of 2010 Napoleon Volunteer Fire Department Queen as she wowed the judges not only with her beauty, but brilliance.

The second runner up was Stephanie Broadus, daughter of John and Alisha Broadus of Rexville; and first runner up went to Alissa Stolze, daughter of Loren and Terri Stolze of Osgood. The queen received $250, first runner up getting $100 and second runner up taking home $50. Also, each girl received a complimentary bag with a variety of products provided by Avon, Mary Kay and Short Cuts Beauty Salon in Napoleon.

The Jackson Street Academy graciously opened their doors for the girls to get ready and Jeremiah Wilson of Bull Frog DJ Service provided the music for the stage show. The crown was donated by the City of Greensburg. Other contributions went towards the girls' sashes and roses. The judges were Marylou Davis, Sally Morris, and Melea Gault, who all had pageantry in their backgrounds.

Other girls vying for the queen title were: Tatijana Marsee, daughter of Tonya and Mark Marsee of Milan; Julie Hoffrogge, daughter of Don and Diane Hoffrogge of Dillsboro; Brittany Jeffries, daughter of Mark and Diane Jeffries of Olean; Heather Linville, daughter of Chris and Tammy Linville of Osgood; and Shanna Cromer, daughter of Tammy Cromer of Holton.

The girls were judged on their short interview, casual wear, evening wear, and answering an impromptu question the night of the event.

There was a “larger than usual” crowd at the firemen’s festival according to organizers. People stood in line for the firemen’s famous deep fried chicken and the anticipation of a great evening complete with music from Rusty Bladen.

The Napoleon Volunteer Fire Department has been in operation since September 5, 1885, according to Neal, who said the first firemen formed a bucket brigade to fight fires and Andrew Meyers’ bell was used as a fire alarm. They had 21 charter members. Later they were able to buy a “protector” which cost $40.25 and had a wooden tongue that was pulled with either the firemen or horses. They purchased lanterns in 1886 for the unit, which cost $1.00 each.

Neal said the festival was held then with the famous mock turtle soup being served from the recipe of Anna Siebert. They would make about 100 gallons.

Today they serve about four times that much with the same great recipe and have expanded the event to two days.

One of the organizers of the pageant, Karen Rohlfing, noted the queen contest just could make a comeback, not only for the special year, but every year. “We’re having a meeting about it this week,” she told the Osgood Journal.

Businesses and organizations who graciously sponsored the event included the Napoleon State Bank, Ripley County Community Foundation, Neal’s Funeral Home, Osgood Kiwanis, the Town of Napoleon and the Napoleon Tavern.

Tanaha Simon, center, took the NVFD 2010 Queen title at the festival last Friday, July 16. First runner up went to Alissa Stolze, pictured right, with Stephanie Broadus, left, taking the second runner up title. The girls each received money, a gift, sash, and the title. The queen additionally received a bouquet of flowers and the crown.