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Boyceville names new Young Ambassadors

BOYCEVILLE – A pair of new Young Ambassadors for the Village of Boyceville were selected during last weekends annual Cucumber Festival.

Shayleigh Novotney and Jacob Erickson have been chosen as the 2013-14 Boyceville young ambassadors.

Following are biographies written by each of this year’s new young ambassadors.

Shayleigh Novotney

Let me introduce myself, my name is Shayleigh Novotney and I am a Senior at Boyceville High School. My parents are Chris & Beth Novotney and I have a younger brother, Noah. Some of my interests are riding/showing horses, fishing, hunting, camping and spending time with my family & friends. School is very important to me and I really enjoy being in High School. Activities that I am active in are showing my horse for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Horse Association, Vice President of the Boyceville FFA, Wrestling Cheerleader & National Honors Society. I will graduate this coming Spring and would like to attend the University of River Falls in the Pre-Vet program in the Fall of 2014.

Outside of school I am a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. I have participated in the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans, (which was a trip of a lifetime and very eye opening). I also enjoy singing with the youth choir, helping serve fellowship suppers with the youth and also work the food stand for youth fundraising for our church at the Pickle Festival.

I have many great memories of Pickle Festival, it’s hard to pick just one. When I was 8 years old, I rode my horse, Petey, through the horse parade for the very first time. I can still feel the butterflies and excitement I felt that night of being able to show off my pony to all of Boyceville. Looking back I thought he was the most beautiful stead and I felt like such a princess, but I think we may have looked more like the monkey riding the dog on the Taco John’s commercial.

I also remember when the Pickle Festival had all the games for us kids to play and the few years that the “Fair Rides” were here. Not only did I get to participate in playing the games, I also was involved with running a game to fundraise for our 4-H Club, The Hay River Helper’s. I remember coming “uptown” that first Friday night that the rides were here and thinking I was in Heaven and I couldn’t believe that the “Fair” had come to Boyceville. I think I rode the rides all weekend and even got a little sick from riding too much on Sunday and I am sure it had nothing to do with all that candy I ate from the parade. Boyceville has so many great memories for me in my 17 years of life. It has been a great community to grow up in. I have witnessed people of this community pull together and help each other out in their time of need whether it be something as small as bringing a meal to a sick neighbor or something larger such as organizing a benefit for someone who is ill or who has lost a loved one.

Boyceville has also been a great community to get an education in. Small class sizes, good teachers and staff, lots of classes offered and extra-curricular activities to choose from and a general feeling of being safe in our school environment.

I am so proud to represent Boyceville as a Young Ambassador. I take this responsibility very seriously and will do my absolute best to fulfill all of the responsibilities and obligations of being a Young Ambassador. Thank you so much for keeping this program going, it is a great opportunity for us, the youth of Boyceville. I hope to see it continue throughout the years to come.

Jacob “Jake” Erickson

My name is Jacob Erickson, I am sixteen, and will be a Junior at Boyceville High School; I have attended Boyceville Schools since age 4.

My parents are John and Lori Bekkum and  I have two brothers, Blake Erickson and Nik Bekkum. I also have three dogs, Chester, Lucy and Aggie; 1 senior citizen (age 16) cat, Libby.

I participate in the BHS Band, BHS Football, BHS Wrestling, FFA, and Church Youth Group.

I like to hunt, fish, show cattle at the Dunn County Fair, and read.

What does being part of the Boyceville Community Mean to You? Boyceville is basically the only community I have ever been a part of. My parents, brother and I moved here when I was two. My grandparents, Betty and Arlen Wisemiller, were a good example of what it meant to be part of a community. My mom and the rest of her family also grew up in Boyceville, so that pride in Boyceville was demonstrated right from the beginning. They taught me to always say hi and be friendly and polite to people, even if I didn’t know exactly who they were. In my younger days, my family and I would go Christmas Caroling and sing to some of our elderly residents. We weren’t too good, but they didn’t seem to mind. Just to “pay them back” for listening, we finished by giving them a small plate of cookies!

I was encouraged to participate in activities like 4-H, which I started at the age of 7. Here we did community service projects like making Valentines tray favors for Glenhaven Nursing home. We also ran the carnival games for the Cucumber Festival for quite a few years. My favorite game to work was the Pick A Duck! The little kids got so excited.

Church was another positive influence and got me involved in the community. We did several food drives, which included scavenger hunts for different items. Our church is also responsible for the adopt a highway program on Highway 170 going out of Boyceville towards Wheeler. I couldn’t believe some of the things people throw out. Through church, I also develop some of my “people skills” by helping serve fellowship coffee after church and being a greeter before church started.

One of my favorite “community activities” was placing flags on veterans’ graves. Even though I went to Boyceville Schools, I grew up in Downing. My elderly neighbor, Gilbert Mounce, would call my brother and I about a week before Memorial Day and take us to the cemetery. I learned some very interesting facts about the people who died for our country.

I am proud to be part of the Boyceville Community. I do my absolute best to represent Boyceville, whether it’s at sporting events, church, community events, school activities, family gatherings and even when I was in New Orleans last summer at a Youth Gathering. Sometimes I like to have a little fun when people ask me where Boyceville is … I just tell them it’s between Connersville and Wheeler! Of course that usually opens up an entire conversation about Boyceville!

My Favorite Memory of the Boyceville Cucumber Festival: The Cucumber Festival has been like a holiday for me, ever since I can remember. Nothing is ever planned for that weekend! I remember winning a blue ribbon at the pedal tractor competition, looking at all the cool planes and eating great pancakes at the fly in breakfast, attending the garden and regular tractor pulls, the tractor show, playing the carnival games, hanging out with my friends, listening to music and of course, EATING!

My favorite memories come from the parades. I loved them. The very first year I can remember, my Uncle Chris let me ride in the fire truck with him. From then on, I was hooked! Sitting on the sidewalk, collecting candy wasn’t an option for me until I went through the parade. On several occasions I got to ride in the wagon pulled by draft horses, with my grandpa. We had matching red shirts, and I felt so important riding through town, waving and sometimes throwing candy. Later on, I rode on the float with the Junior Football team. One year I rode on our church float- which was a great time. Although I still sneak on to grandpa’s wagon once and awhile, I now march with the Boyceville High School Marching Band. When I started band, I played the flute, but last year learned how to play percussion.

The snare drum is a little heavier than a flute when marching, but still fun.

I would like to share one more memory, and that was of participating in the pickle eating contest when I was younger. Although I took third, it was so exciting to have friends and family cheering me on!

Fortunately (or maybe UNFORTUNTATELY) the newspaper captured the moment. It was awesome to see my picture in the paper- I think!