YORK--Following a months-long selection process, the 2020 Yorkfest King and Queen were announced Friday at a coronation luncheon at the York Country Club.
The new Yorkfest King is Warren Thomas and Queen is Irene Duncan.
Thomas is most recognized in the community as the owner of Grand Central Foods. He worked his way up the proverbial ladder from an entry level position at the store 1979 to owning and operating the grocery store with his wife beginning 2004. Since then Thomas has brought his own brand of “Hometown loyal, hometown proud” to his community. His unique mask-wearing incentive for customers – a 5% discount – has drawn attention from others in the industry and offered a degree of economic relief in tough coronavirus-spurred times.
An active member of the community, Thomas was born and raised n York. He was lauded by nominators and those selecting 2020 Yorkfest Royalty for his widespread community involvement. Thomas has been involved in York Elementary School’s Pride Pack program and numerous other York Public Schools activities, York Cornerstone Baseball, CASA, Living Water Rescue Mission, the York County Fair, area churches and numerous other groups and individuals. Thomas’ passion for athletics – particularly baseball – has touched the lives of many youth in the community as a coach and ardent supporter of York sports. Thomas himself was a member of the 1975 State Legion Baseball Championship team.
Additionally, Thomas is a member of the York Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors, York Public Schools Foundation, York High School Athletics Booster Club, York Country Club, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and several industry organizations.
Yorkfest Queen 2020 is known around the community for her involvement in and zest for serving numerous organizations, often spearheading many of their endeavors. Irene Duncan served as Yorkfest chairwoman in 2005 and is president of Friends of Kilgore Memorial Library. She has been co-chair of the friends of the library’s popular annual fundraiser, York Uncorked. Duncan has also served as a program assistant and grant writer for Four Corners Health Department. She facilitates Leadership York’s Legislative Day, and is herself a graduate of the program. Duncan has also been a consistent, active contributor to Wessels Living History Farm as a board member, secretary and president of the local attraction.
Duncan is also an exceptionally active member of York Ambassadors; since her election to the group, she has been recognized as a top-ten ambassador every year of her membership. In 2015 Duncan was selected to be honored with York Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Service Award.
Also, the 2020 queen has been employed at the York News-Times and York State Bank and Trust. She contributed to York Public Schools as a volunteer special education para-professional.
The Yorkfest Royalty selection process began in June, as community members submitted nominations. Eligible persons extended beyond the city of York into York County as a whole. A total of 17 nominations were submitted.
In July, following the nomination phase, was balloting. Ballots were voted on by the York Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, and past and present Yorkfest Royalty. Honoring deserving community members as Yorkfest King and Queen began in 1979.
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