Mary McKevitt Named Lemont St. Patrick's Day Queen
The Lemont High School senior will lead the village's annual parade Saturday, March 10, in downtown Lemont.
With its annual St. Patrick's Day parade just a couple of weeks away, the Village of Lemont has found its Irish Queen.
Mary McKevitt, a senior at Lemont High School, was chosen this week as the village's 2012 St. Patrick's Day Queen and will lead its annual parade, set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, in downtown Lemont.
McKevitt said she was shocked when she heard the news.
"My dad nominated me without even telling me, so I was so surprised and excited when we were contacted by the village," she said.
McKevitt was nominated by her parents, Don and Karen, who described their daughter as "extremely caring and hardworking."
"She and her mom are very proud of her and all of her accomplishments," Don McKevitt said. "She works so hard and is just a good person, so we wanted her to be recognized."
During her time at Lemont High School, McKevitt has participated in student council, yearbook, soccer, track and field, Foreign Language Club, Community Service for Everyone, Physical Education Leadership and the student publication Inkspot. She currently serves as an editor for the school newspaper, is an active member of the National Honor Society and competed on the state-qualifying girls cross country team.
She is also a high honor roll student, according to District 210 officials.
Outside of school, McKevitt has participated in various competitive sports and was a member of the Lemont Juniorettes. She has also volunteered at the Lemont Quarryman Challenge, and taught religious education classes at SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish.
For the past four summers, McKevitt has volunteered at a leadership camp hosted by the Illinois Association of Junior High Student Councils. She first attended as an eighth-grader, when she was serving as the class president at Old Quarry Middle School. As a high school student, she works with middle-schoolers to develop leadership skills.
"In this capacity, she believes she is a contributing resources to making education great in our community and believes the attendees (23 of whom are from Lemont) would agree," Don McKevitt stated in his nomination letter.
Mary McKevitt plans to attend the University of Missouri this fall to study occupational therapy. Last summer, she volunteered as an assistant at a rehabilitation facility, where she helped several senior citizens—including her own grandmother—recover from debilitating traumas.
"The experience really made me realize what I want to do with my life," she said.
According to Donna Pecina, marketing coordinator for the Village of Lemont, nominees for the St. Patrick's Day Queen were required to demonstrate a strong commitment to school or community service, and could not be younger than high school juniors or older than college sophomores. While Irish heritage was preferred, it was not required.
McKevitt, whose dad is 100-percent Irish, said she and her family celebrate St. Patrick's Day every year and used to attend the parade when she was a kid.
"I remember going every single year when I was younger, so it's really awesome that I'm going to be part of it this year," she said.
As the 2012 Irish Queen, McKevitt will wear a green dress during the parade and ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
"I can't wait," she said. "I think it will be a lot of fun, and my family is really excited."
For more information on this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade, visit www.lemont.il.us.