Miss Cass looks to capture Miss Michigan crown

Published 1:21 am Thursday, June 12, 2003

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS -- Tonight in Muskegon Miss Cass/St. Joseph County 2003 hopes to add another title to her name and another crown on her head.
Jocelyn Lillian Swank, 18, a 2002 graduate of Cassopolis Ross Beatty High School, is in the preliminary competition for Miss Michigan.
After another night of competing tomorrow, she hopes to be crowned the new Miss Michigan on Saturday night.
Swank is the daughter of former Dowagiac resident Jeff Swank of South Bend, Ind., and of Mrs. Charles (Carla) Near of 226 N. O'Keefe St., Cassopolis. She has a borther and a sister.
She won a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete in the 2003 Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant, a preliminary to Miss America when she became Miss Cass/St. Joseph in competion held at Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) last August.
The queen's mother wore the crown of Miss Cassopolis in 1976. Jocelyn herself was first runner-up to Miss Cassopolis 2002 Heather Hass.
Swank, a major in elementary education and theater with an ambition of becoming an elementary school teacher, is studying at Western Michigan University.
While she was still in high school Swank was dual-enrolled at Southwestern Michigan College.
This summer to earn additional money for her eduction, Swank is waiting tables at the new Broadway Cafe in downtown Cassopolis.
Although she's played flute for seven years, it has been her choice for the talent part of the competition.
At last year's Cass County Fair, she chose a "fun" vocal presentation of Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." That ip-synced version won her third place and $100.
Her theme at the Miss Cass contest at SMC was one of boosting children's self-esteem.
Her model for acting is Lucille Ball. "I love Lucy because I think she's the best actress of all time," Swank said.
Swank usually performed in three school productions each year, as well as Barn Swallow Theatre once. She has also been in plays at Beckwith Theatre in Dowagiac.
Should Swank succeed and win the Miss Michigan title, she would go to Atlantic City in September to compete for the title of Miss America.