January 6, 2006
Free Enterprise Speech winner Will Echols (left) and runner-up Tatum Gunn.
A Stephens County youth, telling a story of how he learned the principles of capitalism at an early age from his grandfather, won the Free Enterprise Speech Contest at the Texas Farm Bureau 72nd Annual Convention.
Will Echols, 17, son of Tom and Lisa Echols of Breckenridge, edged out 11 other high school students to win the prestigious contest and a $4,000 college scholarship. Echols, a junior at Breckenridge High, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in Agribusiness. He is active in sports as well as the 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) organizations.
Runner-up and winner of a $2,500 scholarship is Tatum Gunn, 17, of Crosby County. Gunn is the daughter of Danny and Melinda Gunn of Idalou. She is a junior at Idalou High School where she is a cheerleader, plays tennis, and is a member of the National Honor Society and FFA. Gunn has yet to decide which college she will attend.
Four Free Enterprise Speech Contest finalists receiving $1,500 each are: Rachel Wolfe, Lampasas County; Nichole Palmietto, San Patricio County; Jenna Marie Harris, Nacogdoches County; and Jamie Putt, Upshur County.
Miss TFB winner Hana Manal (left) and runner-up Whitney McDonald.
A 17-year-old senior from Bandera High School was named winner of the Miss TFB Contest.
Hana Manal, daughter of Connie Manal of Bandera, was chosen over 12 other finalists. She is captain of her high school dance team, editor of the campus newspaper, Student Council treasurer and G.A.L.S. Club editor.
Manal plans to major in Journalism at Baylor University with a double minor in Spanish and Dance. She plans to work in the field of medical journalism and write for a dance magazine. As winner of the contest, she received a $2,000 scholarship, $500 towards a natural fibers wardrobe and a set of luggage. She will represent Texas Farm Bureau at various events over the next year.
Chosen as runner-up in the annual contest and winner of a $1,500 scholarship was Whitney McDonald, daughter of Tom and Melissa McDonald of Hartley. McDonald, 19, is a freshman at West Texas A&M University and is a Pre-Pharmacy major. She participates in collegiate 4-H and is a Church of Christ Bible Chair. Her career goal is to own a pharmacy in a rural community.
Talent Find winner Payton Kane (left) and runner-up Hana Manal.
Eighteen-year-old Payton Kane of Dodson impressed judges and won a $2,000 college scholarship. Kane, a senior at Wellington High School, serves on his school's Student Council, is president of the Gifted and Talented program, and is a member of the National Honor Society. He also participates in the Prose & One Act Play UIL competitions. Kane will attend Texas A&M University, where he plans to pursue a double major in History and Political Science. Afterwards, he plans to attend the University of Texas Law School to fulfill his dream since second grade of becoming a Civil Law attorney. He also aspires to enter politics one day. Proud parents are Steve and Teresa Kane of Dodson.
Runner-up and winner of a $1,500 scholarship is Hana Manal, 17, of Bandera, who wowed judges with her tap dance routine. Manal is a senior at Bandera High School, where she is captain of her dance team, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and Student Council treasurer. She is the daughter of Connie Manal of Bandera and was also winner of the Miss TFB contest.