‘Miss Heart’ born on Valentine’s Day

Published 2:20 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

By By JOHN EBY / Dowagiac Daily News
Emily Winkel of Lawrence, who attends Hartford High School, qualified for the March 9 Miss Blossomtime pageant at Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center Sunday by claiming the Miss Heart of Blossomtime title from a field of seven young women.
Theme was "Phantom of the Opera." Blossomtime's Bud Prince and Princess will be crowned at the DMS PAC beginning at 4 p.m. Jan. 11.
Emily, 16, daughter of Kevin and Roxanne Winkel, was Contestant 2. She has a sister, Kelsey. "Phantom of the Opera" is her favorite Broadway show.
Emily wore a royal blue gown by Jovani. The bodice had a soft V-neckline with rows of iridescent beads and sequins crossing at her midriff.
This crossing is repeated on the open back with straps that feature the same beading.
Her gown was made of glamour satin and flowed into a sweep train.
Emily said Miss Heart of Blossomtime should be compassionate, loyal, talented, forgiving and strong.
First runner-up is Contestant 3 Samantha Wilson of Marcellus. She attends Marcellus High School and is the daughter of Cecil and Kellie Wilson.
Samantha chose an orange two-piece gown by Mauri Simons. The fitted bodice is strapless with multi-colored beads and sequins both front and back. Her satin skirt had a gathered pull-up overlay of tulle.
Her gown was completed with beads and sequins at the hemline.
Second runner-up and Miss Congeniality both went to Contestant 6 Greta Taylor, also of Lawrence. Greta's parents are Jim and Wendy Charles and Dave and Beth Taylor. She has a brother, William Taylor, and two sisters, Jessie Charles and Carson Taylor.
Greta wore a royal blue gown by Mystique. Her fitted bodice was beaded and sequined with blue embroidered flowers. She had a walking slit for easy movement. A band of silver beads and sequins complemented the back of the dress flowing down to a train.
Also competing for Miss Heart of Blossomtime, for communities which lack an affiliated community pageant, were Allicia Guess of Lawton, daughter of Sheila Farrow; Jenna Huffman, 17, of Dowagiac, daughter of Judy Winchester and the late Arnold Huffman and sister to Robbie Huffman; Alicia Goff of Marcellus, daughter of Gary and Chris Sziede; and Shelby Thompson of Marcellus, daughter of Randy Thompson and Kim Blentlinger.
Shelby is president of Hoof Beaters and was first runner-up for sportsmanship at the Cass County Fair. Shelby, 18, has been accepted for the nursing program at Southwestern Michigan College. "Peter Pan" is her favorite Broadway show.
Jenna, who wants to host her own talk show, chosen a purple gown with hints of blue and pink tones. Jenna, 5-foot-4 with blonde hair and blue eyes, was Miss Potawatomi in 2006-2007. "Legally Blonde" is her favorite Broadway show.
Emily stands 5-foot-7 with brown hair and blue eyes. She turns 17 on Valentine's Day.
"My goals are to graduate from Hartford High School and to attend college to study fashion design and/or fine art – possibly at the Savannah College of Art/Design," Emily says.
Emily is a member of National Honor Society, participated in the 2007 All-Star Band, garnered an honorable mention at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art high school art show and was a state and national winner for Hispanic art and essay.
Miss Heart of Blossomtime volunteers for Camp Arcadia, 4-H and Van Buren County Youth Fair clean-up, church youth group and makeup assistant for the Hartford High School spring musical.
Emily's extracurricular activities include the Hartford Vanguard Marching Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Choir, track, Science Olympiad, the spring musical, modeling at Bridal Expo and helping at the Box Factory.
If she could do one thing for her community, Emily says, "I would introduce an art and literature therapy program directed towards teens to encourage them (with) interactive ways to broaden their imaginations.
Samantha, who stands 5-foot-4, has blue eyes and auburn hair. She was born April 28, 1991, and has a brother, Cecil Jr.
Samantha wants to "go onto higher education to make a difference not only in my community, but everywhere." She has been on honor roll every year of middle school and high school.
Samantha, whose favorite Broadway show is "Wicked," is an Ambassador of Goodwill who has adopted a reader, worked conferences and made Christmas baskets, helped at school events, been involved with SADD, volunteered at MIgrant Head Start and participated in blood drives and American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
If Samantha could do one thing for her community, "I would promote business to the area so that young adults can gain work experience without having to leave the community."
Greta stands 5-foot-2 with blue eyes and blonde hair. She was born Sept. 25, 1991. She wants to attend college to become an archaeologist or anthropologist.
Greta has been on honor roll since seventh grade, won volleyball and cross country awards and is National Honor Society vice president.
"I served food at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission Homeless Shelter, worked two years at the blood drive at my school and helped with the pig roast that Lawrence SADD holds annually," Greta, whose favorite Broadway show is "Beauty and the Beast," says. "I am secretary for SADD, student council representative, sing and act at local theaters, sing in the church worship team and help with Sunday School. I would build a recreational center for kids to go after school as a smart alternative."
Radio personality Phil McDonald served as master of ceremonies.
Dowagiac's Taylor Gross sang the national anthem.
Contestants danced to "Masquerade" for the opening number