GILMER — Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Karlie Carol White on Friday was named the 76th East Texas Yamboree queen. “It is a tradition in my family and I wanted to keep the tradition ongoing,” White said. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report that White takes her middle name from her grandmother, Carol White, who was crowned Yamboree queen in 1954 when she was known as Carol Cox. Though the two women never had the opportunity to meet each other because Carol White died before her granddaughter was born, Karlie said she knows her grandmother would be proud. “This is so exciting. It’s such a blessing,” said White, whose aunts Tory Frazier and Kay Bowles were also Yamboree queens in 1986 and 1988, respectively.
The seven women nominated for the crown raised $163,000. The person who raises the most money is named queen. Girls raise money by selling tickets to the barn dance and queen’s coronation, as well as by receiving donations. Runner-up Melani Kay Williams was named the Yamboree princess. Emily Ann Buettner, Macy Alexandra Elms, Shaylee Brooke Fennell, Iesha Tatyana Fluellen and Katelynn Danielle Meadows will be ladies-in-waiting. White, 17, was sponsored by the Twentieth Century Club. In the fall, she will be a senior at Gilmer High School. She is the daughter of Kelly and Deana White of Gilmer.