The Polish Town Civic Association crowned its 2016 queen, Stephanie Clark of Greenport, on Sunday.
Ms. Clark graduated in 2015 from Greenport High School, where she played field hockey, softball and was captain of the cheerleading team. She now attends Suffolk County Community College, working toward a degree in early childhood education. Outside school, she helps out at the Greenport Fire Department and is a master altar server at St. Agnes R.C. Church.
Ms. Clark said she’s dreamed of becoming Polish Town Queen since she was a kid.
Her great-great-grandparents on her mother’s side immigrated to the U.S. from Poland, she said, and Polish traditions and customs run strong in her family.
“Being queen means I get to continue to share my Polish heritage,” Ms. Clark said. “This is a dream come true.”
Joy Smith, president of the civic association, said they choose a young woman each year who has intelligence, beauty and poise and will be a good representative for the community.
Ms. Smith added that all the contestants were very intelligent, beautiful and held themselves with grace.
“I don’t think I would have been able to make a decision if I were a judge,” she said.
The judges, she explained, are people from outside the civic association.
“Stephanie held herself very well, she answered her questions very well,” Ms. Smith said. “She came off as spirited young lady and was the embodiment of what a great ambassador for the community would be.”
Olivia Lagun of Riverhead was chosen first runner-up and Kelli Cichanowicz of Baiting Hollow was second runner-up.
The queen serves as a community icon and appears at various Polish Town events, including parades, parties and community gatherings.
Her main event, the annual Polish Town Fair, will take place Aug. 20-21.
Photo Caption: 2016 Polish Town Queen Stephanie Clark, middle, joined by second runner-up Kelli Cichanowicz, left, and first runner-up Olivia Lagun. (Credit: John Terlikowski)