Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Homecoming queen passes crown to friend

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Lemon-Monroe homecoming queen Megan Neu (left) handed over her crown Friday night to her best friend Cindy Christopher. Cindy's mother had died that morning.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
MONROE - On the worst day of Cindy Christopher's life, her best friend and senior classmate Megan Neu stunned her and the crowd watching a half-time homecoming ceremony, with open-hearted generosity.

Moments after Megan was chosen as Lemon-Monroe High School's homecoming queen, she gave the ceremony a touch of royal class. She announced to the Friday night football crowd at Gene Switzer Field that she was immediately passing her crown and title to Cindy, whose mother had died earlier that day after a five-year fight with cancer.

It was a royal abdication to which no one objected and many in the crowd were left teary-eyed as Cindy, who was also a member of the homecoming court, overcame her surprise and gratefully hugged Megan - her best friend since the seventh grade.

The entire homecoming court then joined in a tearful group hug as the appreciative crowd, who came to see the football Hornets battle Bishop Fenwick High School, saw true friendship in action.

"I didn't believe she was doing that,'' a still-emotional Cindy said between classes Monday. "She is an awesome friend and a really good person. I don't think any other person in the world would have done that.''

Megan, who is a National Honor Society student and a member of the student council as well as a cheerleader, had no way of knowing she would be chosen. But she had made her plan to honor her friend and the memory of Gail Ann Christopher, who died early Friday at home at age 51.

"Cindy and her mom have always been really good to me,'' said the 17-year-old senior, who plans to study nursing at college after she graduates. "I wanted to do something for Cindy.''

Cindy, who is also a cheerleader and student council member, wants to study teaching in college and some day be an educator.

"What Megan did really means a lot to me and it's something I'll never forget,'' she said.

Nor will anyone else who saw it, said Monroe Assistant Principal Steve Jackson.

"For Megan to do what she did was absolutely incredible, and it's a testament to the type of student she is and what an outstanding citizen she is,'' said Mr. Jackson. "It's nothing short of a class act.''

Email mclark@enquirer.com

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