Strawberry Princess Lauren Graber

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

Lauren Marie Graber, 17, daughter of Mike and Brenda Graber, has lived in the same house her entire life. She is an only child.
One of her favorite things to do is help with the family “harvest garden,” where they plant cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and such, she said. She likes the aspect of “knowing where your food is coming from,” like the farm-to-table trend.
She also just loves dirt.
“I’m one of those children that grew up playing in the dirt and playing with weeds outside, throwing sticks around,” Graber said. “I like getting my hands dirty.”
A graduate of Lebanon High School, Graber participated in volleyball and swimming, and was in the National Honor Society and freshman orientation program. She plans on attending Linn-Benton Community College to complete the diagnostic imaging program.
Graber joined Future Farmers of America to show livestock, mainly market pigs and sheep. She’s worked with pigs, and during the last two years she worked also with sheep.
“I like to do sheep better,” she said. “They’re easier to show, in my opinion, because you have more control over the animal.”
They also get attached and act like dogs, she added. She has a sheep named Spencer who, when Graber takes him out, follows her around, she said.
Graber calls herself a “history junkie,” and said if she had to put something on her bucket list, it would be to travel.
“I like to stay home, but I think I would have to travel the world,” Graber said. “I would go to all the museums and do a museum tour of the world.”
Graber has always wanted to learn German, though she doesn’t know why. It could be because she had to learn about the country when she was in elementary school, she noted. The same thing happened when she had to study flamingos.
“I was obsessed with flamingos for years,” she said.
She might also be an adrenaline junkie. Graber loves roller coasters, and she went on a drop tower attraction multiple times at Universal Studios.
“It goes straight up for probably six stories or more high in the air, and then you just plummet down,” she said.
The self-proclaimed “homebody” wanted to be a Strawberry Princess for a couple of reasons.
One, it would make her stray out of the comfort of her home and meet more people, she said.
Two, she has watched the parade as far back as she can remember, and she recalls seeing the princesses and hearing about them all the time.
“I’m like, ‘Oooh, that sounds fun. I want to get out there. I want to be someone that people can look up to.’”
Graber said she’s fond of the people of Lebanon.
“I feel like Lebanon gets a bad rap sometimes because of some of the people, but the community here is just great. Like, everybody will help you no matter what your situation is.”