Erica crowned 73rd queenPublished 5:51pm Sunday, February 12, 2012
Erica Ann Greenwood had the most Fun in the Sun, winning the 73rd Miss Dowagiac pageant from 18 contestants on a snowy Saturday night in the middle school Performing Arts Center.
For the third time in four years, the queen is also Miss Congeniality.
Erica, 18, stands 5-foot-8 with hazel eyes. She is the daughter of Steven and Kimberly Greenwood and has an older sister, Alyssa.
The Union High School senior also attends Southwestern Michigan College.
A hostess and waitress at Lindy’s Restaurant, Contestant 16 volunteered more than 160 hours at The Timbers of Cass County and plans to attend Grand Valley State University to major in psychology because “I want to help those who may be suffering psychologically — especially children.” She wins a $2,000 scholarship, plus $250 for Miss Congeniality.
For the question posed to the final five, second-year Master of Ceremonies Jeremy Truitt, a 2002 DUHS graduate, drew from a glass bowl held by pageant Co-Chair Ashley Franklin one of the questions contestants wrote, about what motivates them.
Franklin and Audrey Maxey were feted for their third and final year leading 45 pageant volunteers.
Erica said her grandmother, Jackie Proffitt, motivates her. “She’s such an inspiration and such an influential person in my life.”
First runner-up, Hope Daniel, Contestant 6, is the daughter of Supt. Dr. Mark and Janet Daniel. Hope wants to become a medical doctor specializing in oncology. She has three older sisters, Estelle, Claire and Sierra Daniel.
Hope, 17, stands 5-foot-6, with green eyes. She plays varsity tennis and volleyball, participates in Rotary Interact Club, National Honor Society, Student Senate and tutors at the middle school. Hope enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, biking, skiing, sports and playing piano. Her awards include completing Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine summer program.
Her platform was Embracing Change because “my greatest accomplishment has been attending three different high schools and being able to adapt and make great friends, as well as maintaining top-ranking grades while completing 36 credit hours at SMC with straight A’s.” She wins a $1,100 scholarship.
What motivates Hope is, “Making a difference in other people’s lives. I also want to make my parents proud, so that motivates me.”
Second Runner-up Courtney Brisbois, whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is also 17, with green eyes. She is 5-foot-3 and the daughter of Janelle Schonekas and Keith Brisbois. She has five brothers and sisters, Candis, Teddy, Mattie, Eleanor and Michaela. They are who motivate Courtney, whose platform was gay rights. She wins a $1,000 scholarship.
“I know they look up to me,” Courtney said. “The fact that they look up to me means the world to me. If I set a good example, I know they’ll follow.”
The first-chair clarinet and color guard captain was Contestant 7. Courtney wants to attend college for nursing.
Rounding out the final five after two silent eliminations were Homecoming Queen Charity Evans and Samantha Hess. Charity won $200 as the communication winner for her platform, Power of Children.
Judging the pageant were: Kelly Cook, Miss Niles 2001, with page Marissa Tidey, 2012 Michigan Apple Queen; Beth Klug, former Miss Cassopolis, a pageant she chaired for nine years, and Miss Heart of Blossomtime; she works for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, with page Alyse Pellow; and Tim Taylor of Indiana, a salon owner for 21 years and five-year chairman of the Miss New Buffalo pageant, with page Katie Haneberg, Miss Dowagiac 2010.