First Runner-up Elizabeth Hein, Miss Heart of Blossomtime Ashley French, Second Runner-up Alyssa Davison of Mattawan and Miss Congeniality Kelsey Koziel. Elizabeth, Ashley and Kelsey are from Galien and attend Buchanan High School. They were crowned Sunday afternoon at Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center from six contestants. (The Daily News/John Eby)
First Runner-up Elizabeth Hein, Miss Heart of Blossomtime Ashley French, Second Runner-up Alyssa Davison of Mattawan and Miss Congeniality Kelsey Koziel. Elizabeth, Ashley and Kelsey are from Galien and attend Buchanan High School. They were crowned Sunday afternoon at Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center from six contestants. (The Daily News/John Eby)

Archived Story

Galien dominates Miss Heart of Blossomtime

Published 10:25am Monday, November 23, 2009

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

It won’t take the Miss Heart of Blossomtime court long to get acquainted, as three of the four young ladies are from Galien and attend Buchanan High School together.

Miss Heart of Blossomtime Ashley French, crowned Sunday afternoon at Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, is the daughter of Steve and Verna French.

Ashley, Contestant 7, qualifies to compete in the Showcase of Queens March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Michigan College Mendel Center and in the Miss Blossomtime Pageant March 15 at 7 p.m. at LMC near Benton Harbor.

Ashley captains her soccer team, serves as treasurer of Art Club, belongs to the yearbook staff and volunteers at Buchanan District Library and at Ottawa Elementary School.

“After high school,” Ashley said, “I want to go to SMC for two years and become an elementary school teacher. I love kids, and they look up to you, which makes you feel good about yourself. I’ll probably transfer to Michigan State to get my degree. (The pageant) is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was little and saw queens on the floats.”

For her community, Ashley would stress how important it is to stay away from drugs and alcohol, and that education “is what really matters.”

Ashley’s favorite thing about herself is her happy personality.

First Runner-up Elizabeth Hein is the daughter of Ronald and Guadalupe Hein and a basketball player.

When finalists were asked, “If you could choose any occupation, what would it be and why?” Elizabeth answered, “I would want to work with animals at the Humane Society, which works with animals that have been abused and beaten. They try to get them back on the right track so they can have nice lives.”

For her community, Elizabeth would help youth be more involved and to have a more positive outlook for their future.

Elizabeth wants to become a sports manager after school. She likes about herself that she always gives 100 percent and never gives up. If her dream comes true, she will travel to the Seven Wonders of the World.

Second Runner-up is Alyssa Davison of Mattawan. She is the daughter of Kip and Stacy Davison.

Alyssa, 16 – “my birthday’s in eight days” – is a junior and on the honor roll at Mattawan. “I like to hunt and fish,” she said, “and I have two horses that I ride. I play varsity soccer.”

After high school she is considering attending a four-year university “out west. I visited Wyoming last year and I love it out there. I want to be a hippotherapist,” or horse-aided therapy.

When finalists were asked about occupations, Alyssa answered President of the United States “because it would be fun to rule.”  If Alyssa’s dreams come true, her brother, his wife and their baby girl would be able to visit for the holidays. He’s serving in the U.S. Air Force in Okinawa, Japan.

For her community, Alyssa would preserve the woodlands and farmland.

Miss Congeniality Kelsey Koziel, daughter of Dennis and Tammy Koziel, also won the jewelry awards from Wedding Belles for selling the most tickets and good luck ads in the program. “It was hard work,” she said.

Kelsey, 17, is a Buchanan senior, on honor roll and active in 4-H.

“After high school,” Kelsey said, “I plan on going to Kalamazoo Valley Community College to pursue a degree in radiology.”

For her community, Kelsey would get city water so more businesses could come. Softball is her favorite sport. Her favorite thing about herself is her huge heart.

Also competing for Miss Heart of Blossomtime, for communities which lack
preliminaries to Miss Blossomtime, were Morgan Pomeroy, a graduate of Plainwell High School who would like to be an art dealer, and Kayla Vallier, a student at Plainwell High School interested in nursing.

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