COLUMBIA, S.C. – Summers Slaton, a 21-year-old early childhood education major at Winthrop University, was crowned the South Carolina Watermelon Queen on Jan. 17 in Columbia. The competition was held in conjunction with the annual Watermelon Growers Association meeting Jan. 16-17.
“I'm so excited and still shocked to be the South Carolina Watermelon queen,” Slaton said. “But I'm ready to get to work because I know how much the association expects from me and I want to make the association and all the growers very proud.”
As South Carolina Watermelon Queen Slaton will stay busy traveling throughout the state during the year to festivals, speaking engagements, and media interviews promoting watermelons. She will also travel to supermarkets across the state to promote the nutritional benefits of watermelon. Next year she will compete for the national title in Dallas, Texas.
In addition to being on the Dean’s List at Winthrop, she is also very active outside of the classroom. Slaton is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, organizes and leads the annual school supply drive for Sistercare, and volunteers at various elementary schools in the Rock Hill area. To top it all off, she still has time to take in some of athletic events too. She once won a Winthrop recliner for attending the most athletic events during the spring semester.
Slaton received a $750 scholarship from the South Carolina Watermelon Association and a $500 scholarship from International Paper. Slaton said after graduation she plans on teaching at an elementary school in South Carolina and pursuing her master's degree.