Sherry Washburn

Staff Writer

GALENA — A former Baxter Springs girl, Hunter McDowell, competed as a finalist in the Kansas Route 66 Idol contest April 2 at the James C. Cristman Performing Art Center. The event was sponsored by the Galena Educational Foundation.

Contestants attended tryouts in March and the field was narrowed  to 18 finalists in three categories. The youth division ages 8-11, the junior division ages 12-15 and the adult division, ages 16 and up.  Hunter , who is 12 years old and is a 7th grader at Cimarron Middle School in Edmond, OK performed as a finalist in the junior division. She performed the song “Love Me” by Justin Bieber.

Hunter has enjoyed being on the stage since the age of 2 or 3 when she first started singing with her Mother, Terra McDowell. Hunter said she would like to pursue a career in singing. She said the best thing about it would be “meeting famous people.”

She cites as her influences, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavinge, the band Perry and others.

While she didn’t win the finals this year, Hunter said she would enter more competitions. She is the Daughter of Terra McDowell, Edmond, Okla, and Nick McDowell of Riverton. Her maternal grandparents are Vicki and the late Bill Ernst of Baxter Springs. Her paternal grandparents are Doug and the late Mendy McDowell of Miami, Okla. Maternal great-grandparents are Betty and the late Dave Ernst of Baxter Springs.  Paternal  great-grandparents are Tom and Floydine Daniel of Columbus.

Hunter currently resides in Edmond with her mother and younger brother Nicky.