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Video: And it's 1, 2, 3 crowns, you're royalty ...

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Kendal Swanson, Megan Jeranek and Hannah Coyle are the 2018 Red Wing Royal Ambassadors. They were crowned Sunday, Aug. 5. Anne Jacobson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Baseball. You play home and away.

The Red Wing Royal Ambassador scholarship program had to travel for the 2018 “big game,” thanks to both the Sheldon Theatre and Red Wing High School being under construction this summer. The organization made the most of the situation, however, going with the theme “A League of Their Own” and holding coronation “away” Sunday, Aug. 5, at Cannon Falls High School.

In fact, the Red Wing Royal Ambassadors could have fielded two teams because 18 young women competed.

The evening ended with Hannah Coyle, Megan Jeranek and Kendal Swanson being crowned. The most valuable player award, aka Miss Congeniality, also went to Coyle, whose volunteer platform is the American Association of University Women. AAUW’s mission is to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy.

“They have influenced so much of my life, especially over the past year. I’m just so excited to get going and start helping them out any way I can,” she said.

She is the daughter of Brian Coyle and Kai and Matt Rodgers. Her sponsor is the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

For her platform, Jeranek chose the Ronald McDonald where she started volunteering this past year through Key Club.

“I’m so thankful for this opportunity, I can’t wait to represent Red Wing alongside these two wonderful women. I just admire them both so much,” the daughter of Deb and Torry Jeranek said.

Her sponsor is St. Crispin Living Community.

Swanson chose the Red Wing Food Shelf. She already is planning a food drive.

“I can’t wait for this upcoming year with my fellow crown sisters,” she said.

She is the daughter of Michelle and Jon Swanson and is sponsored by TNT Gymnastics.

The Red Wing Royal Ambassador program is connected to Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes. The night included the presentation of the Honorary Commodore Award to the family of Briana Klindworth, a 2002 Miss Red Wing princess who was killed by a drunken driver in 2004. An endowment in her name continues to help fund the $2,000 college scholarships that each ambassador receives.

Before Red Wing learned who will represent the city in the coming 12 months, 2017 Ambassadors Josie Lappegaard, Ashley Knowlton and Mackenzie Irwin had to say their farewells. Mixing plenty of baseball metaphors in with their thank-yous, they urged all 18 young women to take what they’ve learned this summer and go out to conquer the world.

As Lappegaard put it, “It’s not the uniform or the crown that causes you to be a leader. Instead, it’s the spark that’s already inside you.”

Anne Jacobson

Anne Jacobson is news director with RiverTown Multimedia. 

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