Strawberry Festival: Meet Princess Amanda Raymond

By Audrey Caro

Lebanon Local

Amanda Raymond can now check off two goals on her bucket list:  being a Strawberry Princess and getting accepted to Oregon State University.

“I’m going to major in marketing and my other goal is, after I’m done at OSU, to get an internship at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton,” she said. “We visited it with our (Lebanon High School) marketing class a couple of times and I love it.”

For now, Raymond’s schedule has been filled with Princess-related activities and events.

She and the Strawberry Court have visited different service clubs in Lebanon as well as some senior care facilities.

“It’s been really fun,” Raymond said.

The Court has gotten a positive reception, she said.

“They all appreciate what you’re doing and that you are a part of the community and that you want to be there,” Raymond said.

She also enjoys visiting Lebanon schools and talking with the students.

“I went to Lacomb, so it’s a really small school and another princess that was there was Jenna Morch,” Raymond said. “So I was like that’s so cool. You came from a small school so it’s possible.”

Raymond, 17, is the daughter of Jon and Jennifer Raymond. She grew up in Lebanon and remembers the impact seeing the princesses had on her.

“We’ve been going to the parade since I was really little and I was like, ‘(gasp) a princess, I can be a princess,’” she said. “As a kid you look up to them; they’re role models.

“These are good girls who represent Lebanon. I wanted to be that for someone else.”

In her role as princess, she hopes to inspire others by just being herself.

“I just hope that being yourself and being really genuine will help them see that no matter who you are and where you come from, Lacomb’s really small, that you can just be yourself,” Raymond said.

Raymond likes the camping theme of this year’s festival.

She and her family usually camp by the Deschutes River in Bend, she said.

“It’s really fun,” Raymond said. “We always pull up by the river and we’re camped right there. We go on hikes. That’s my favorite spot.”

She hopes one day to camp at Yellowstone.

“There’s so much to see there,” Raymond said. “One of my good friends went last summer and she loved it and both my parents have gone and they loved it.”

This summer she hopes to get a steady job near OSU.

Currently, Raymond works near home for Tim Shanks, who was the school resource officer for Lebanon High School.

“He’s my neighbor and my parents are friends with him,” Raymond said. “He has a woodworking business and so we sand furniture, we build birdhouses and sometimes we do yard work.”

She knew some of the basics of woodworking before working for Shanks, she said.

“I could maybe build an OK birdhouse with my dad,” Raymond said. “I had done stuff like that, but (Shanks) taught me how to make a nice one. Now I can sand furniture and stuff like that.”

She wants to spend a lot of time with her family before she heads to college.

“We do lots of hiking and swimming,” Raymond said.

As for her venture to the dorms at OSU, she is a little bit nervous. She is not sure who her roommate will be, but she is hoping she will be a life-long friend.

“I’m also really excited for a fresh start,” Raymond said. ”