River Days is a time of fun and relaxation for many people, but the local girls running for Miss River Days, it is an extra busy time, but one they will not soon forget. Each of these girls have been sharing their platform and event for this year and each and everyone of them have such wonderful things that they have been doing for others.
2018 Miss Valley, Shelby Metzler, is another one of the those girls. Her platform is something that not a lot of people know of or know much about, which is why these girls are doing such a good job, getting the word out. Metzler chose Childhood Apraxia Speech Awareness for her platform and her event was called, ‘Walking for Words.’
“My event was on Monday, May 14th, which is actually National Apraxia Awareness Day, we did it on a Monday for that reason. We did it on my school’s track, so we walked around the track and then we had stations with like fun little games and things. I had inflatables that were donated from Party Pros and EMC². We had a lot of community support for that too. I had a call sent out through the school, I had a flyer, and posted the event on Facebook and, I made the flyer available to all the other girls this year. We had a decent turnout, as a lot of people were involved in other things at that time of the year. We had a family that I had never met before come, who had a child with Apraxia, they had saw it on Facebook and came. They brought a huge group with them,” said Metzler.
There was a five dollar admission charge for the event, but with that, a $15 dollar max for a family. “We had a concession stand and we raffled a few little baskets, popcorn from Jett’s, and Ohio State one, and a hair care product one. The money was all donated to Casana, which is the National Apraxia Association, which is actually the only non-profit that donates money to families affected by Apraxia. We had somewhere between 50 to 75 attend. The River Days’ Contestants ran all of the stations. There were two girls at each station. I had a lot of people come up to me and say we heard about your platform and they were just like no one knows what it is. Tammy Nelson from the Carousel Center spoke at the event, she is actually my mom’s boss. And, Melissa Cron, (Miss Minford’s pageant mom) and her daughter Mychal also spoke about her son and Mychal’s brother Tyce, who has Apraxia.
Metzler chose Apraxia as her platform, because her little sister, Georgia, was diagnosed at the age of three and a half. She had a lot of speech delay and they had kind of thought she had it, but they can’t diagnosed it until age four or close to it. She said that they had spent a lot of time trying to figure out, what is this and how do we deal with it? “It’s been very very close to my family.” Her sister is now seven, turning eight soon. “She talks very very well, you can sometimes hear it, as they will sometimes flip sounds and dyslexia is common with Apraxia. That is something that will continue to effect her throughout her life, but she had done very well with it. Apraxia by definition, is a neurological speech disorder, so they have motor planning issues, but its not so much that the muscles are weak, it’s that the neurons in the brain that work the muscles in the mouth, are not connected properly. They know what they want to say and a lot of kids with Apraxia are very very smart. They know what they want to say, but they just can’t get it out. It can also go hand in hand with behavioral issues, it’s very hard to differentiate as to why are they acting out, when they know what they are trying to get across,” explained Metzler.
One of the things that her family found out as signs for her sister was, that she didn’t babble as a baby. Metzler continued, “If you gave her sounds, she would forget them. She would add to her vocabulary, then lose them. Kids with Apraxia actually have to hear a word 3,000 times before it becomes part of their vocabulary, it’s very very easy to lose the vocabulary. One of the things my brother Andrew and I had to learn was, that you can’t baby talk to them, because if you do, they learn them wrong. It was a big adjustment. It would have really affected her speech. I loved doing this and getting to learn there were other people who had Apraxia, because when you talk to people, they don’t know what you are talking about, they have no clue what it is. You see that it isn’t just us.”
Metzler spoke of trying out for Miss Valley, “It has been about a year since I knew I wanted to be Miss Valley. I had a lot of stage fright, but then after attending a leadership conference and they really got us to push our boundaries. When I came home, I told my mom, I think I want to do River Days.”
Metzler has attended Valley Local Schools her entire life. She mentioned that Scott Rolfe, Superintendent of Valley, has been very helpful to her with all things River Days, and how she appreciated that. She talked about the other help she has had. “We have a small group of people who are friends with my pageant mom, coming in to help with my float, and then my grandpa and my dad are helping with the building process, my mom is helping me design it, and also I have a lot of friends from school that are ready to jump in with like odd jobs of stapling, taping, etc. It takes a village,” she says. She has drawn for her music genre, pop-rock. She said that she is doing a Prince theme, a good match, as Prince was known for his Purple Rain song as his signature song and Valley School color is purple. Everything she is doing will be all Prince things, she also spoke of her shirt, which Larry Moore Sporting Goods designed and how much she loved it.When in school, Metzler is a member of the National Honor Society the Green club and has been a member of the drama club and was a member of the volleyball team for the past five years, “but this year I’m playing tennis, because it fit into my schedule better. It is so much fun. My coach has been so good about my River Days’ events and things.” She explained that the Green club has a cardboard box, that they have in the classroom for recyclables and they are each assigned classrooms to collect these.
As for Miss Valley’s aspirations for her future, “I want to go to Ohio State and get my degree in Accounting and get my Master’s in Business Administration. I want to work in a big company, and travel. I love math, math has always been my favorite. It would be really cool and make my dad really happy. It would mean so much to me, to know my dad would be so proud to have a kid going to Ohio State. It would be so cool for me to have that experience.”
Metzler discussed the day of the pageant and the changing of outfits for that day. “It starts out with the parade and the float and that outfit, then we will then go into interviews with an outfit, and then the opening number has an outfit, and we do fitness with another one, and finally we have the evening gown.” She says that she loves being in River Days, “The girls are awesome this year, we are all so close.”
Miss Valley, Metzler, like the other River Days’ Candidates, has a Facebook page: 2018 Miss Valley. And like the other spotlights, this young lady will give the judges a run for the money as she is a sweet and personalable young who really cares about others. Good Luck, Miss Valley.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928