Mother of 3 wins Mrs. Lincoln County Fair crown

Published 6:01 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

STANFORD – Natasha Brown, a mother of three and part-time employee at the Lincoln County Board of Education, added a new title to her name as she was crowned the 2017 Mrs. Lincoln County Fair. 

Brown, 32, donned a crown, sash and bouquet of flowers following the announcement after she bested a field of eight pageant contestants to win the title Monday night at the Ted Gilbert Pageant Pavilion. 

Before the Kings Mountain native was crowned, the pageant contestants were introduced in formal attire before participating in a brief question-and-answer session. 

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Brown, wife of Eric Brown, serves on the Lincoln County Relay for Life Committee, is a member of the group Back the Blue and enjoys taking her daughter to local nursing homes to sing to the residents. 

When asked what her greatest non-academic accomplishment is, Brown said becoming a mother to her three children Brady, Victoria and Landon. 

Hobbies Brown enjoys include traveling with her three children to sporting events, camping, horseback riding and showing the family’s Tennessee Walking horses. 

A dream vacation for Brown would be a visit to Australia with her family. 

Each of the contestants were asked who they would invite to their family dinner if they could invite anyone. Brown said she would ask her brother-in-law Scottie. “He passed away when I was pregnant with my daughter Victoria so she, nor my son Landon, have ever gotten to meet him.” 

Judges noted Brown’s “good eye contact” on her contestant application before sending the results off to be announced and crowning her the 2017 Mrs. Lincoln County Fair winner. 

Photo by Abigail Whitehouse
Ashley Marie Bohlman, 25, holds up her first runner-up award Monday night during the Mrs. Lincoln County Fair Pageant.

Ashley Marie Bohlman, 25, of Crab Orchard, was the first runner-up in the pageant. Bohlman’s hobbies include reading, writing, outdoor activities and playing with her daughter Elizabeth. Bohlman, wife of Nathan Alan Bohlman, is currently enrolled as a student at Eastern Kentucky University and aspires to become a businesswoman. 

Bohlman said her greatest non-academic accomplishment is being a mother to “the most beautiful and sweet daughter.” 

When asked would she would invite to family dinner, Bohlman said her deceased grandpa Ell or grandpa Williams. “I never got the chance to get to know them,” she said.  

As a self-proclaimed “Disney baby,” Bohlman said a dream vacation would be to take her daughter to Disney World. 

Deedra VonGruenigen, 31, of Waynesburg, was the second runner-up in the pageant and winner of the Most Photogenic Award. Deedra is married to Cody VonGruenigen and the mother of Emery VonGruenigen.

VonGruenigen is a service clinician in Lincoln County and has a Master’s of Education in Human Development. Her hobbies include photography, participating in pageants with her daughter and working a side-business called “Emery’s Closet.” 

Photo by Abigail Whitehouse
Deedra VonGruenigen graces the stage during the 2017 Mrs. Lincoln County Fair pageant Monday night.

Following her daughter’s diagnosis of Pachygyria, a developmental condition, VonGruenigen said she has advocated for her daughter in various ways, including interviewing with The Interior Journal and urging insurance providers to cover life-changing devices such as the “stander” Emery needed. Emery now has a stander, a device VonGruenigen says will help her daughter walk. 

As far as community activities and involvement, VonGruenigen said she and her daughter collected 524 stuffed animals for the Dream Factory, which went to terminally-ill children, and raised $700 her the local Relay for Life efforts. The pair is currently collecting baby blankets for those in need. 

If she could invite anyone to dinner, VonGruenigen said it would be her daughter. “Yes, she already sits at my dinner table, but she has taught me more about life than anyone,” she said. A dream vacation for VonGruenigen would be in a place where “being different is accepted and viewed as normal.” 

The other Mrs. Lincoln County Fair participants were:

Leah Shay Middleton, 29, wife of Zachary Keith Middleton, Stanford; Erica Spillman, 27, wife of Daniel Spillman, Glasgow; Shannon Huffman, 22, wife of Michael Huffman, Stanford; Kimberly L. Ollish, 36, wife of Bryan Ollish, Waynesburg; Whitney Braden, 25, wife of Joseph Braden, Strunk. 

Photo by Abigail Whitehouse
MRS LINCOLN COUNTY FAIR contestants, from left to right, Deedra VonGruenigen, Ashley Bohlman, Leah Middleton and Natasha Brown, pose for judges Monday night during the pageant.


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