Strawberry Princess McKenzie Crenshaw

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

McKenzie Ann Crenshaw, 18, daughter of Cole and Brandy Crenshaw, considers herself very close to her family, which includes her brother, Brady.
She fondly recalls family vacations to Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica, and said if she could go anywhere, she would choose to go to Mexico again with her family.
Though she isn’t afraid of diving with sharks – which she hopes to do some day – Crenshaw said she did not enjoy having to bungee jump after a zip lining experience in Costa Rica.
“When we got to the bottom, we didn’t know, but there was a bungee jump you had to jump off to get down to the ground. That was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. It was horrible, but I did it.”
Even after surviving the jump, she still insists she’ll never bungee jump again; at least not in a different country.
“I can do heights for fire and stuff, when I’m helping, but I wouldn’t put it in the fun category for me,” she said.
Crenshaw, a graduate of Lebanon High School, plans to attend Chemeketa Community College to study fire science and become a firefighter paramedic.
Last year, she participated in the second annual Linn County Young Women’s Fire Academy, where she got a taste of what it’s like to fight fires and save lives.
“I want to come back to Lebanon and get a job at the fire stations here,” she said. “I’ve always looked up to the firefighters here, and I know many of them.”
During her time spent in high school, Crenshaw participated in leadership class and the freshman orientation program. She was junior senator and senior vice president of the student body, and played softball, volleyball and competed in swimming.
Outside of school, she was president in the Lacomb Livestock 4-H group, and raised pigs.
“I’ve grown up around animals, and pigs have always been my favorite to help train and learn,” she said.
She describes herself as an outdoor, adventure-type person. Crenshaw enjoys tubing, wake surfing, swimming, snowmobiling and skiing, but she also does a little painting, too.
Her cousin, Maddie Norris, was crowned queen of the Strawberry Court in 2017.
Growing up, Crenshaw saw the impact Strawberry Princesses had on children, and she wanted to have that same positive impact on kids, too, she said. She tells them to try their hardest at everything they do and be the best person they can be.
That’s what the princesses do, she said. They try hard and they help other people.
Crenshaw is confident in her community’s commitment to help each other.
“I love the community; I love everything about it,” she said. “I know if anything were ever to happen to me, I know my community would help me out or help my kids out. I just wouldn’t ever want to be in a different community because our community is so strong.”