Eight young women contend for Miss Cass

Published 4:36 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006

By By JOHN EBY / Dowagiac Daily News
Eight young women will be competing for more than $3,000 in scholarships at Dowagiac Middle School Saturday, Aug. 12, in the 2007 Miss Cass/St. Joseph Scholarship Pageant.
The contest takes place at 7 p.m. in the DMS Performing Arts Center, 57072 Riverside Drive.
Tickets cost $12 at the door or $10 in advance and may be purchased from any contestant or at The Flower Cart in Niles.
Areas of competition are private interview, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, talent, evening wear and on-stage question.
Executive director of the scholarship program, which is affiliated with the Miss America organization, is Phillip Hurlbutt.
Pageant producer is 2000 queen Melissa Prestine.
The new titleholder will represent Cass and St. Joseph counties in the Miss Michigan pageant next June.
The Miss America organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Now let's meet the contestants:
Contestant 1
Mekayla Diehl, 17, of Union, a senior at White Pigeon High School.
Platform: 4-H, making the best better.
Talent: jazz/ballet dance.
Daughter of Katie and Ted Sautter.
Contestant 2
Elizabeth Grady, 20, of Dowagiac, a junior at Western Michigan University.
Platform: international education begins at home.
Talent: vocalist.
Daughter of Kandy Grady.
Contestant 3
Courtney Dufour, 19, of Dowagiac, a sophomore at Southwestern Michigan College.
Platform: it's not an accident – speak out against drinking and driving.
Talent: dance.
Daughter of Brad and Vicki Dufour
Contestant 4
Rose Marie Middleton, 19, of Dowagiac, SMC sophomore.
Platform: looking beyond your reflection.
Talent: tuba.
Daughter of Mary Middleton and of Paul and Diana Middleton
Contestant 5
Keera Morton, 19, of Dowagiac, a sophomore at Central Michigan University.
Platform: from ages 1 to 102, an arts education could benefit you
Talent: musical theater vocalist.
Daughter of Robert and Catherine Morton.
Contestant 6
Amber Webb, 18, of Sturgis, a freshman at Cornerstone University.
Platform: youth motivation – realizing and living your dreams.
Talent: gymnastics dance.
Daughter of Ronald and Darla Webb.
Contestant 7
Linaya Hass, 19, of Cassopolis, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.
Platform: opportunities 101 – the importance of involvement in extra-curricular activities.
Talent: dance.
Daughter of Dean and Glenda Hass.
Contestant 8
Merrilee Wuthnow, 21, of Niles, a senior at Kansas State University.
Platform: students making smart decisions – the dangers of drunk driving.
Talent: vocalist.
Daughter of Mark and Stephani Wuthnow.