The sadness stemmed from the loss of her grandfather, John Spencer, in 2018. She’d hoped he’d be in the audience as she imagined reaching this moment, but also felt maybe he was there in spirit.
“It has been a huge dream of mine. It was a feeling of you can do anything he always gave me,” she said.
Spencer confessed she was a little hesitant to run in a time when the pandemic is still lingering. Not getting a state position spurred her determination
“I had one more year to run and thought maybe I’d wait, but some things present themselves,” she said. “Even if I didn’t get that state office it made me push myself in doing this.”
Among her goals as queen is to encourage the youngest 4-H members and fair participants to stick with the program even when it gets demanding and to get others involved.
“When I was young, I always looked up to the fair queen. Now I want to be there for them,” said Spencer.
She also wants to spread the word about 4-H and its history in her hometown, where the program originated. Spencer wants to visit local schools to build awareness and pride in it.
“A lot of other fairs talk about (4-H). Being able to say we are the birthplace of 4-H is an honor,” said Spencer.
Sprowl earned the Community Service Award, which came with a $200 scholarship, for her work with service dogs, volunteering with her family at 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia. Her service dog, Maaza, attended Saturday’s ceremony.
She’s working to breed pups who will eventually become search-and-rescue dogs to help in cases such as finding lost children.
The ceremony also marked the farewell for 2020 Clark County Fair Queen Mozie Van Raaij. The 2020 Southeastern High graduate and current Ohio State student fought back tears as she used home as a theme in her address to the crowd, counting the Fair and 4-H as much as any physical address.
The Clark County Fair will run daily through Friday.
How to go
Clark County Fair opens to the public Friday and runs through July 30. Gates open at 8 a.m. Midway opens at noon. Admission is $6, which includes parking and entry into all concerts. Admission is free for children 5 and younger. Rides require tickets, or a wristband purchased separately.
Clark County Fairgrounds are located at 4401 South Charleston Pike, Springfield.
Today (Junior Fair Board Day)
9 a.m. Church Service - CTC Shelter
9 a.m. Open Class Rabbit Show - Big Tent
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Heritage Center Tractor Show*
Noon: Midway opens
1 p.m. Wood Carver
2 p.m. Lawrenceville Church of God - Music - CTC Shelter
3 p.m. Sea Lion Show
4 p.m. Mini Circus
4 p.m. Wood Carver
5 p.m. Kiddie Tractor Pull - Arts & Crafts
5 p.m. Big Tent - First Christian & Medway Christian Churches
5 p.m. Sea Lion Show
6 p.m. Mini Circus
6 p.m. Wood Carver
7 p.m. Demolition Derby - Track
7 p.m. Sea Lion Show
8 p.m. Mini Circus
8 p.m. Wood Carver
9 p.m. Sea Lion Show
10 p.m. Mini Circus
* Field Marshal Tractor starts with a shot gun shell demonstration at 2, 4 and 6 p.m.
Source: Clark County Fair