4-H Fair court chosen
Published 2:02 am Friday, August 1, 2003
By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS -- Dowagiac Union High School seniors Emily Westendorp and John Klapchuk reign over the 152nd Cass County Fair this week as queen and king.
In answering his question, John said qualities the queen should possess include reliability, friendliness, a willingness to meet new people and the capability to speak about the fair so it is well-represented.
Emily, asked what leadership qualities she gained in the 4-H program and how she applied them in everyday life, responded, "I have gained self-confidence and learned not to procrastinate in getting my priorities in order."
The DUHS classmates were crowned Saturday night in front of the grandstand during the ninth annual royalty contest from a total of 22 contestants -- 16 young women and six young men.
The Hawaiian-themed competition opened with a dance number to the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann," followed by a rendition of "Surfin' USA" by the 2002 court -- Fair Queen Brooke Maxfield, Fair King Sam Preston, First Runner-up Nicole Osban, Mr. Congeniality Kenny Franz and Miss Congeniality Kristin Swartz.
Last year's court also presented "Summer Nights" from "Grease."
A breeze brisk enough to be blowing in off the ocean shook the makeshift stage and its inflated palm trees and tangled contestants in decorative streamers as they made their entrances.
Emily, 17, is the daughter of Al and Denise Westendorp. After high school she plans to attend Valparaiso University to study secondary education and business administration.
Emily was also selected Miss Congeniality by the judges, Miss Blossomtime Keri Hazel of Bloomingdale, Brandie Rainey of South Haven and Susi Stambek of Berrien County.
Emily is secretary of the National Honor Society, treasurer of Humanities Club, a varsity cheerleader, a Drama Club member and a teen leader for Postponing Sexual Involvement.
Emily's favorite part of the fair is letting children ride her horse, Cha. She is a four-year member of the Sleepy Hollow club. She previously belonged to 4-H in Berrien County for six years. The queen enjoys showing light horses and exhibiting paintings and drawings at the fair.
Last year she was chosen a Michigan ambassador to the Hugh O'Brian World Leadership Congress.
John, 17, is the son of Ed and Diane Klapchuk. He plays first-chair saxophone and is a member of the Chieftain Marching Band. He is president of National Honor Society.
He has never belonged to 4-H and lists the grandstand shows, harness racing and the food as his favorite parts of the fair. He describes himself as reliable, honest and friendly.
John plans to attend Southwestern Michigan College or Western Michigan University to major in secondary education and minor in business.
First runner-up was Contestant 12, Ashley Solloway, 15, of Cassopolis. She is the daughter of Gary and Tina Solloway. Ashley will be a sophomore at Ross Beatty Junior-Senior High School. She enjoys playing volleyball and softball, being a varsity cheerleader and was president of her freshman class. She wants to attend Michigan State University to obtain a degree in the medical field.
Ashley is a seven-year Penn 4-H member. She shows pigs and rabbits at the fair. Her favorite thing about the fair is interacting with new people and making friends. She enjoys volunteering with her club, including Adopt a Highway. She enjoys reading and drawing.
Ashley won a $150 gift certificate for raising more than $1,000 for the pageant. Torre Green gets a $100 gift certificate for second, with almost $1,000.
First Runner-Up and Mr. Nice Guy Scott Mellen, 18, is the son of Gina Lundeen and Charles Mellen. He is enrolled at SMC to study computer-aided design.
Scott graduated from Edwardsburg High School in 2003. In high school he was involved in SADD, baseball and basketball. He is listed in "Who's Who" among high school students. Scott, who works on his motorcycle in his free time, most enjoys the Friday night fair football game.