Reed and Broughton Looking Forward to Serving as Tom and Becky [Video]
On July 4, the official 2015/2016 Tom and Becky were named for the City of Hannibal. Rhet Reed and Molly Broughton will serve as the city's ambassadors for the next year.
Reed and Broughton were both thrilled to win the official titles of Tom and Becky. “I feel really honored to be able to be the ambassador … knowing that everyone out there is looking to me like I represent this town,” said Reed. Broughton says that she can’t wait to serve as Becky, “I am so surprised and I am very ecstatic and so excited to see what this next year has in store for me.”
The program is open to interested seventh graders in Hannibal who compete for the titles of Tom and Becky by giving speeches, interviews, and by completing two written tests: one on Mark Twain and one on Hannibal. Ten finalists for the Tom and Becky program are then selected, and an official Tom and an official Becky are named from those finalists.
Reed and Broughton agreed that the hardest part of the competition is giving the final speech during the Fourth of July Tom and Becky Ceremony. “The most difficult part was probably actually writing the speech that I gave today, because I knew I was going to be giving it in front of a whole bunch of people and I really didn’t want to mess it up,” said Broughton. “You can just sit and study and know the facts, but once you get up there, how nervous and how confident you are will be everything,” said Reed.
The official Tom and Becky, and the rest of the Tom and Becky finalists, will make appearances over the next 12 months locally, state-wide and even nationally. Tom and Becky have appeared all over the world in the sixty years of the program. It was announced on Saturday by the Hannibal Convention and Visitor’s Bureau that one of the appearances for the new official Tom and Becky will be attending an upcoming St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, where they will throw out the first pitch.
This year marks the first year that the Tom and Becky program was administered under the sponsorship of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, which took over sponsorship from the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce.