TULLAMORE welcomed the 2011 Arizona Rose, Jenny Knatz, prior to her taking part in the Rose of Tralee Regional Finals last weekend in Portlaoise.
Jenny is a 21-year-old Arizona State University student whose dream is to one day be a youth librarian where she can “kindle and rekindle a passion for reading in young people.”
She also received the President’s Scholarship Merit Award, was selected for the Dean’s List, and sings soprano in the Arizona State University Choir. From Mesa, her hobbies are photography and baking, and she currently holds a black belt in Tang Soo Do, a Korean defensive martial art.
She feels passionate about learning and believes knowledge can greatly improve the state of the world. Her Irish heritage is derived from the maternal side with the Peed’s hailing from Northern Ireland.
This is the third year in a row that the Arizona Rose has visited Tullamore, last year the town had a visit from the charming Pediatric Nurse Danielle McBurnett and the year before that the vivacious Irish Dance Teacher Alexis Hodel.
Tullamore is a Sister City to Chandler, Arizona, a city which has strong Offaly connections through prominent Irish residents such as Tony Cummins and Thomas Bracken, both of whom come from Tullamore originally.
Cllr Tony McCormack, Chairperson of Tullamore-Chandler Sister Cities, reamrked, “We were delighted to welcome Jenny Knatz to Tullamore. The Tullamore-Chandler Sister Cities committee are working in a focused and practical way to develop a range of initiatives to build links between here and Arizona and tourism is definitely part of that agenda.”
During her time in Tullamore, Jenny met with a number people active in Tullamore-Chandler Sister Cities and she took some time to visit the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre. She was also delighted to meet members of the Tullamore Martial Arts community.
Sadly neither Jenny, nor the Offaly Rose Brianna Connaughton, made it through to the International Final in Tralee in August although both represented their respective areas very well according to Rose of Tralee co-ordinator Steve Cronly.
“Brianna in particular did very well, she was charming on stage and in the interviews. She couldn’t have done any more. There were so many excellent Roses this year, it was almost a lottery in the end.”