Amanda Hassle crowned Miss DowagiacPublished 5:28pm Sunday, February 10, 2013
First Runner-up from nine contestants in the “Once Upon a Time” pageant was DUHS junior Gabrielle Leonard, recipient of a $1,100 scholarship. She was crowned by Hope Daniel, who attends Hope College in Holland.
Second Runner-up was awarded to Katelyn Lee, with Brittany Smith as Miss Congeniality.
Katelyn won the $200 communication scholarship for her platform, “You,” to go with a $1,000 scholarship.
Katelyn was crowned by Courtney Brisbois, who attends beauty school in Louisiana.
Erica, a student at Grand Valley State University, also crowned Brittany, who earned a $250 scholarship.
Gabrielle, contestant 5, is a DUHS junior. She stands 5-foot-7, with blue eyes, and wore a yellow gown.
Gabrielle, daughter of Bill and Nancy Leonard, has a younger brother, Billy, and an older sister, Heather.
School activities include First Robotics, volleyball, tennis and National Honor Society. She plays club volleyball, hostesses at Zeke’s and enjoys reading, running and listening to music.
Gabrielle, whose platform promoted “Women in Technology,” wants to study aeronautical engineering and eventually become an astronaut. She learned by participating that “I am very nervous in front of large crowds.”
Katelyn stands 5-foot-7 with blue eyes and chose a sky blue gown. Her parents are David and Marilynda Lee. She attends Southwestern Michigan College as well as DUHS. She belongs to Rotary Interact Club and Humanities Club. Katelyn, who plays bass and electric guitar, is a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, St. Paul’s food drive volunteer, Berrien County Council for Children summer festival volunteer, United Way Summer School Supply Spectacular volunteer, a four-year junior aide fort the Tiny Talkers speech and language program and a Torch Run for Special Olympics participant.
She has been volunteering since 7 and named Caruso’s as her favorite Dowagiac place because she and her grandmother go there for Green Rivers and Cokes.
The animal lover and Notre Dame fan intends to attend SMC to eventually become a criminal psychologist.
Brittany, selected by her fellow contestants, stands 5-foot-4 with blue eyes. She wore a red gown. She is the daughter of Krin Smith and Darby Smith and has two siblings, Thomas and Brooke.
School activities include cross country, band, NHS and Chieftain Monitor newspaper. She volunteers with Band Boosters.
Brittany likes playing and listening to music, camping and running. She received a Division I rating at district and state solo and ensemble for two years and belongs to NHS.
The homecoming queen plans to attend SMC for two years, then transfer to Western Michigan University to become a counselor. Her platform was “Healthy Above Skinny.” One word that describes her is “friendly.”
Joe Jason, who formerly owned Dowagiac’s radio station, served as master of ceremonies.
Contestants also included Erin Corey, Easton Preston, Jenna File, Morgan Helmuth and Cheryl Ennesser.
Morgan sold the most tickets for the scholarship pageant, sponsored by Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and underwritten in part by $2,521 in Pokagon Fund grant money.