2011 Dogwood Queen
Lauren Ashley Yowell

Lauren Yowell is the daughter of Cheryl and Jesse Yowell Jr. of Madison,VA. Lauren is 20 years old and currently a student at Piedmont Virginia Community College where she is pursuing a career in nursing. Lauren is a very active member in her community. She volunteers frequently at Autumn Care of Madison, the local nursing home, helps with coaching youth sports softball teams and much more. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys working at her family's local restaurant, hanging out with friends and family, swimming, fishing, hunting, and shopping.

Platform: "Relaying against Cancer"

I have seen the threats that cancer can pose to a family. Growing up, I lost my grandmother and grandfather to cancer, both of which were very close to me. I have also watched my courageous grandmother battle cancer many times and survive. Not only has this helped me to choose nursing as my career in life, it is also what has helped to influence me to spend my year as the 2011 Dogwood Queen promoting people to "Relay against Cancer". One way I am doing this is through the Relay for Life, which will be in Madison for the first time ever this year on May 22, at the Young Farmer's Grounds. I chose the relay for life because it represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated. I have been an active member in the Relay for Life since last fall as a board member in the Luminaria chair and a team captain for our family restaurant. This event is very important to me and hits close to home. I realize that cancer does not have a cure at this time, but there are many simple things that people can change in their everyday lives to make it much more preventable. During the upcoming year it is my goal to not only raise money for cancer research, but to touch the lives of those with cancer and educate those without it about what they can do to remain cancer free. So please help me to "help create a world with more birthdays!" through the American Cancer Society.