Following are profiles of each of the current members of the Idaho County Fair Royalty. Photos by Greg Wherry.
Idaho County Free Press
The daughter of Melvin and Joyce Sonnen, she will enter her junior year at Prairie High School this fall. She is the grandaughter of Bonnie Gehring and the late Charles Gehring and Larry and Gladys Sonnen, all of Cottonwood. She has a 14-year-old sister, Laina, and a brother, Paul, 13.
She belongs to Keuterville Livestock 4-H Club, also her sponsor, and plays basketball for PHS. She is also a member of Health Occupations Students of America, Knowledge Bowl, Drug Free and Prairie League. She spends her spare time babysitting, as a waitress/cook, farming/ranching and volunteering at the blood drive and serving at parish events.
I would encourage girls to try out because you never know what can happen. What you will discover about yourself or lessons that you will learn will help you become a better person. The memories that you will make will last a lifetime. Possibilities of what can happen to improve yourself are endless.
“I have had a great time with royalty and we have had so many great moments such as when my little brother, Paul, who was escorting me the fashion show night, had to dress up. Dressing up in nice black pants and a white shirt must have been a foreign thing to him because he got all bug-eyed,” Sonnen said. “After thinking about it he decided, on the day of the fashion show, that his pants were not suitable enough so he had a family friend pick him up a new pair of pants. Well the family friend mis-judged his height and got him too short of pants. He was so nervous, excited and I think partly embarrassed because his pants barely went to the top of his ankles. He was so cute with his smile and red faced that I could not help but smile, but when I saw those pants I laughed so hard I cried. I even think he made the crowd smile that night.”
Sonnen did not ever feel she was a shoe-in for royalty, but made the decision to go for it anyway.
“I figured that there was little or no chance of me making it, so why try?” she shrugged. “I found that even if your dreams seem unrealistic or impossible, stick with it. You may be amazed by what happens.”
“I have high hopes for the future. I plan to become a doctor in veterinary medicine and then come back to a farm and ranch based community like Idaho County,” Sonnen said. “Idaho County is breathtaking and inspiring for me. I am proud to say that I had the opportunity to grow up here. The communities are always supporting and lending a helping hand to those in need. I am honored to represent it. I would like to thank all those who have helped me this year. Especially my parents, siblings, Mark and Barb Forsmann, Gerry and Janell Arnzen, Cheri Holthaus, Collette Schaeffer, and Sheri Holthaus and other close family and friends. I would like to thank Jacey and Jenni for making this year a great year and one to remember.”
Idaho County Free Press
She is the daughter of Jerry and Janell Arnzen of Grangeville and granddaughter of Henry and Rosanne Arnzen and Helen Egland, all of Grangeville. She has one sister, Kally, 13.
Arnzen, who will be a senior at Grangeville High School this fall, is a member of Lively Livestock 4-H Club, She is sponsored by Gerald Arnzen Architecture. At GHS, she is involved in track and field and volleyball, cheerleading and basketball. She has also served as mascot and with Idaho Drug Free Youth.
Arnzen said being involved in royalty has been “a dream come true.”
“You get to be creative in making your float and decorating for other events plus who could forget wearing the pretty dress and crown?” she smiled. “Representing the fair and our county and seeing all of the people’s reactions to us is truly amazing. I had a blast and it’s been a good experience in being responsible and working with others.”
Following graduation next year she plans to attend college and though she isn’t sure what she will major in, she said she has an interest in design.
Perhaps that interest led her to helping choose “very poofy” royalty dresses.
“One thing that never ceases to make me laugh is our dresses,” she grinned. “This year our dresses are matching formals and are so poofy – I mean huge! We crack up trying to sit down or move around. Once a little girl literally disappeared underneath a dress!”
Idaho County Free Press
Forsmann is the daughter of Mark and Barbara Forsmann and the granddaughter of Marilyn Forsmann and Bill and Jean Stuivenga, all of Grangeville. She has two sisters, Erica McCandless, 27, and Holly Forsmann, 11. She is a member of the Lively Livestock 4-H Club and is sponsored by Lynette Lotchspeich.
Forsmann will be a senior at Grangeville High School this fall. There, she is involved in cross country, tennis and youth legislature.
“This has been a fun and good experience. You learn a lot and become a better leader,” she said. “And you get to know the girls you’re on court with and hang out – it’s a lot of fun.”
Forsmann said she especially remembers a little boy at the Riggins Rodeo who was screaming and shouting, “Where’s the candy?”
“It was funny how all he wanted was his candy,” Forsmann laughed. “He also said that you shouldn’t be able to be in the parade if you weren’t throwing candy.”
Forsmann plans to attend college following graduation next year.