2012 Maple Festival Court – Savannah Hevener
Monterey, VA – The second runner-up at this year’s Highland County Maple Queen Pageant was Savannah Lee Hevener. She is the daughter of Lisa and Tommy Hevener of Monterey. She is home-schooled and is a sophomore this year. Savannah talks about the upcoming activities for members of this year’s Maple Queen Court.
“We spend all four days of Maple Festival walking around greeting the visitors; I’m excited about that,” says Hevener. “We hand out ribbons at the Highland County Fair, we ride through the parades and hand out candy. This week we’re making sausage over at the high school for their pancake and sausage dinner during the Maple Festival.”
Savannah goes on to discuss her future plans and what she likes to do when she’s not in class or doing homework.
“I was on the dance team and I cheerleaded,” she says. “I like to help my dad out on the ranch and I barrel race. My goal is to attend Virginia Tech and pursue a career in equine sciences; once I get a little bit older I’ll figure out exactly what I want to do. I’d like to open up a horse stable in Highland County so kids could enjoy activities after school or during the summer; basic riding lessons, grooming, they could learn how to barrel race.”
Savannah lives on the historic Hevener Farm just west of Monterey and knows a lot about making maple syrup.
“This year is was a slow year and we didn’t make as much maple syrup as we usually do,” she says. “That’s the thing about making maple syrup is Mother Nature has a very big toll on it. We aren’t as big as Puffenbarger’s or Rexrode’s; our family is actually one of the first sugar camps opened up in the county years and years ago, my grandfather started it.”
“We were one of just a few that was open for the Maple Festival and we used to do the tours and everything, but we don’t do that anymore. In a few years we’ll have to rebuild, then we might decide to do tours again.
Savannah continues to help the Highland FFA chapter with fundraising activities.
“I used to be in FFA until I started homeschooling; I’m not a FFA member anymore,” she says. “I still help out with the milkshake booth at the fair and at the Maple Festival. I was almost one of his top sellers for fruit this year, but I did sell a lot of fruit for him [Highland FFA advisor Steve Hevener], and he still lets me go on trips and stuff since I help out.”
Savannah has been riding horses since she was five years old and hopes to continue raising horses in Highland County in the future.