By Debbie Adams
William Byrd High School senior Madison Tuck was crowned the 2022 Dogwood Festival Queen on April 30. The ceremony took place at the Vinton Municipal Building, where the queen was crowned by Vinton Mayor Brad Grose at noon, as is the tradition.
Tuck was among 10 young women nominated by members of the faculty and staff at William Byrd for the prestigious honor. The candidates are interviewed by a panel of judges the morning of the Dogwood Festival and the queen is chosen.
The other members of this year’s Dogwood Court were Sela Beatty (parents Letitia Hawkins Beatty and Tim Beatty), Chloe Harrilla (parents Joe and Sharon Harrilla), Micah Kiker (parents Tosha and Joshua Kiker), Emilie McCaskill (parents Angela Peterson and Mark McCaskill), Jenna Nicely (parents Randy and Sherry Nicely), twins Jaylen Rosser and Mya Rosser (parents Erica and Jonathan Rosser), Ashlyn Stover (parents Lisa and Dwayne Stover), and Victoria Watts (parents Brent and Vicky Watts).
Vocalist Floyd Boone sang “God Bless America” prior to the crowning of the queen.
Mayor Grose welcomed the families of the Dogwood Court to the coronation. He recognized hostess Olivia Robertson, who was the 2019 Dogwood Queen, Dogwood Festival President Beth Abbott, and Queen and Court Committee Co-chairs Susan Teass and Nita Echols.
“Today’s event is made possible through the efforts and cooperation of the William Byrd High School faculty and staff and the Vinton Dogwood Festival Committee,” said Grose. “The 10 young women comprising the Queen’s Court today are members of the William Byrd High School Senior Class. Their selection to the court is based on academic standing and their volunteer service to the Vinton community.”
He went on to thank the Dogwood Festival Committee, the staff of the Town of Vinton Public Works, and Community Programs Director Chasity Barbour for “the great job they have done.”
“An event like this doesn’t just happen,” the mayor said. “It takes hard work, dedication, and passion to achieve this level of success.”
“The tradition of the Vinton Dogwood Festival is a great example of why this town is a special place,” said Mayor Grose. “We are truly blessed to live in a town that has citizens and town staff who work together to continue our great traditions and our special way of life.”
During the ceremony, the Dogwood Court received gifts, including a dogwood necklace, from Robertson and Police Chief Fabricio Drumond. Tuck was presented a scholarship from the Dogwood Festival Committee.
Following the ceremony, members of the Dogwood Court and Mayor Grose boarded two carriages from the Lexington Carriage Company and circled through downtown Vinton, waving to the crowds at the festival as they were led by Chief Drumond and Deputy Chief Tim Lawless.
The carriages were beautifully decorated with dogwood blossoms by Nancy Horn, Roanoke County Commissioner of the Revenue, and her assistant Alexis Christensen.
Madison Tuck is the daughter of Mark Tuck and Amanda Trent. In high school, she has played varsity softball and participated in varsity track and field. She is the leader of the school DogPound and a member of the DECA Club, Beta Club, and the FCA. Her hobbies include softball, track, hiking, devotionals, working out, and going to church. She enjoys working with children in the community by giving hitting and defensive softball lessons. She recently signed a letter of intent to continue playing softball at the next level at Liberty University. Her plan is to major in exercise science or elementary education.