Kachur captures Miss Niles titlePublished 10:37am Monday, November 23, 2009
By KATIE JOHNSON
Niles Daily Star
It was a bittersweet night Saturday for Stefanie Woodrick, who tearfully watched her daughter, Leah Kachur, end her year as second runner-up Miss Niles and her younger daughter, Lauren, be crowned Miss Niles 2010.
“Now my emotions are the exact opposite,” she said on stage after Lauren Kachur, 19, captured the title. “This is exactly what she needs right now.”
Fourteen young women competed for the crown at Niles High School Auditorium Saturday. The theme was “Disney Dreams … It All Started with a Mouse.”
Lauren, a sophomore at Bethel College and Brandywine High School graduate who wore a strapless beaded apricot-colored dress, said the announcement was “overwhelming.”
During her reign, she said, she wants the court to “get a lot more community service projects up.”
After graduation, Lauren plans to teach middle school science while working on her master’s degree in education pedagogy psychology research. She is also the daughter of Jeff Woodrick and Michael and Melissa Kachur.
Chelsea Powers, 17, a senior at NHS and the daughter of Margie Anglemyer and Scott Powers, was named first runner-up and Miss Congeniality. She has been active in Key Club and Portage Road General Baptist Church and plans to pursue a nursing degree from Southwestern Michigan College or Hope College.
Skylar Herman, 17, a senior at NHS and the daughter of Stephen Herman and Rechelle Herman, was named second runner-up. She has been involved in NHS musicals, Summer Youth Internship Program for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Niles Haunted House, Annual Publications, Buchanan High School Culinary Arts Program, Women’s Choir, Concert Choir, A Capella Choir, JV cheerleading and Counterpoints. She plans to obtain a scholarship to obtain her goal of graduating from a culinary arts program.
The winner of Miss Niles is awarded at $700 scholarship from the Miss Niles Scholarship Organization, as well as the entry fee to Blossomtime and numerous gifts and certificates to area businesses. First runner-up receives a $400 scholarship and gifts; second runner-up and Miss Congeniality each receive a $300 scholarship and gifts.
Miss Niles 2009 Zarah Mumaw, first runner-up and Miss Congeniality Courtney Brattain, second runner-up Leah Kachur and Mr. Niles Zac Archer also said an emotional goodbye to their year-long reign.
The 14 contestants opened the night with a performance to the “Mickey Mouse March Remix,” and the 2009 court performed a dance to “Hey Mickey.”
Entertainment was also provided by 2009 Apple Festival Lip Sync winners Annette Ward, Janice Hensel and Sue Clark, who performed while wearing pig costumes to “Lookin’ for Food” to the tune of “Lookin’ for Love.” Audience members came onstage for a game and dancing to “Cupid Shuffle.”
Judges were Mary Stefanek, Wayne Prillwitz and Dianne Jackson. Pages were Abby Hickok, Morgan Crocker and Katie Bruckner. Tellers were Marilyn White, Vicky Conrad and Denise Connell. Runner was Kelly Cook. Master of ceremonies was AJ Seliga of the U93 “Rob and AJ Morning Show.” Escorts were Andrew and William Wregglesworth. Victoria Marker sang the national anthem.
Other Miss Niles contestants
* Jenna Grannell, 17, a senior at Niles High School. She is the daughter of Dr. James Grannell and Diane Grannell. She has been active in volleyball, softball, basketball and the School-to-Work program, where she works at Great Lakes Eye Care. After high school, she would like to receive a basketball scholarship and pursue a degree in graphic design.
* Demi Firth, 17, a senior at NHS. She is the daughter of Pamela Firth and Mark Firth. She has been active in varsity cheerleading, Ecology Club and Yearbook. After high school, she plans to attend either Carroll University or the University of Alaska to study marine science.
* * Lauren Leonard, 17, a junior at Brandywine High School. She is the daughter of Ronda Martin and Shane Leonard. She has been active in Vacation Bible School, blood drive, student council, varsity volleyball, basketball, Midget League Basketball, food drive and the yearbook committee. After high school, she plans to attend Grand Valley University and pursue a degree in English and later teach elementary education.
* Delaina Schroeder, 18, a senior at BHS. She is the daughter of James and Belinda Schroeder. She has been active in softball, volleyball and basketball. After high school, she plans to attend Central Michigan University to major in physical therapy.
* * Chelsea Thompson, 17, a senior at NHS. She is the daughter of Larry Thompson and Jennifer Molnar. She has been active in volunteering at nursing homes, soup kitchens, Random Acts of Community Service, the Niles Haunted House, church projects, HOSA, volunteering at the hospital, Key Club, Ecology Club and softball. After high school, she plans to attend Hope College to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing.
* Mariah Liebetrau, 17, a senior at NHS. She is the daughter of Scott Liebetrau and Joyce Webster. She has been active in Key Club, a participant in JDRF, a U93 Roof Sit volunteer and a Niles Elite cheerleader for seven years. After high school, she plans to attend Holistic Wellness Academy and become a massage therapist or physical trainer.
* Cassie O’Toole, 18, a freshman at St. Mary’s College. She is the daughter of Greg and Robin O’Toole. She has been active in College Democrats of Notre Dame, Photography Club, Gluten Free ND and yearbook staff at St. Mary’s College. After graduation, she plans to work as a foreign correspondence photographer for Time or National Geographic.
* Ashleigh Paolasso, 17, a senior at Red Brick High School. She is the daughter of Deanna Paolasso and Sean Makowski. She has been active in sideline cheerleading, as the wrestling manager, as an All-Star Cheerleader and was in the NHS play for two years. After high school, she plans to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Grand Rapids Community College or Grand Valley State University to become an ultrasound technician or pediatrician.
* Chelsea Laylin, 18, a senior at BHS. She is the daughter of Aaron and Dondi Zender. She has been active in Positively Dance, firefighting, Color Guard, Neighborhood Gang 4-H, theater, History Club, Science Olympiad, AYSO Soccer, softball and Powderpuff Football. After high school, she plants to attend college to study dance education and/or biology.
* Kendra Ernsperger, 17, a senior at BHS. She is the daughter of Karen and the late Dav Wiemuth. She has been active in football and basketball cheerleading, bowling, History Club, float committee, volunteering at Healthwin Hospital and Hope Rescue Mission. After high school, she plans to attend college to pursue her dream of becoming a physical therapist.
* Kaley Jones, 18, a senior at BHS. She is the daughter of Rob and Brenda Jones. She has been active in student council, National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society and History Club. After high school, she plants to attend St. Mary’s College to major in psychology and double minor in business management and early childhood education.
* Top 5 contestant