Cherry Queen Meg Howard passes crown to Sonya Sayler
Sonya Sayler of Elk Rapids was named the 2013-2014 National Cherry Queen Friday evening at the Queen's Coronation Ball and Royale Auction.
Sayler is a graduate of Elk Rapids High School and is a recent graduate of the University of Phoenix.
When they announced her as the new Cherry Queen at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City, Sayler said it was a very surreal moment.
"My mind was blank, my heart was beating, I was just praying that, I know my life is in God's hands," said Sayler.
As Sayler begins her new role as National Cherry Queen she plans to promote the cherry industry, tourism and community involvement.
Sayler's older sister Angela was the 2009 National Cherry Queen.
The other 2013 National Cherry Queen candidates were Audrey Prisk, Caroline Asiala, and Ashley Wade.
The Cherry Queen is chosen based on communication skills, poise, and knowledge of the National Cherry Festival, the cherry industry and the Northern Michigan region.
Each of the candidates were awarded scholarships. A total of $12,500 was split among former Cherry Queen Meg Howard and the four candidates.