Villa crowned Miss Niles

Published 9:01 pm Sunday, November 17, 2013

Miss Niles 2013, Monica Bielski, crowns Miss Niles 2014, Danielle Villa. Leader Photo/AMBROSIA NELDON

Miss Niles 2013, Monica Bielski, crowns Miss Niles 2014, Danielle Villa. Leader Photo/AMBROSIA NELDON

A former Jr. Miss Apple Festival has another year of royalty ahead of her as she begins her reign as Miss Niles 2014.

Danielle Villa, a 17 year-old senior at Niles High School competed with 18 other contestants for the title at a Dumbo-themed pageant Sunday night. After being crowned, Villa said she was shocked and excited for her reign, and thanked everyone in the pageant for their assistance.

Villa is the daughter of Bill and Theresa Villa and is involved in cheerleading, cross country, soccer and Down State Left musicals.

When asked to name one of her favorite past times in her first onstage question, Villa said, “playing the piano, not only because it allows me to learn something new, but because it helps to relieve stress.”

Villa plans to study at Hope College in the fall where she will be a pre-med student.

Also crowned at the pageant Sunday were Chance Smith and Ryan Roberts, who will serve the community as Mr. Niles.

Ryan, an 18 year-old from Niles High School, was also Mr. Niles 2013.

“I had such a great time the first time around making an impact in everything we experienced, that I wanted to do it again,” Roberts said.

Smith, a 17 year-old student at Brandywine High School, said Roberts encouraged him to participate, and “it looked like an awesome and fun time.”

Smith and Roberts both said they look forward to bonding with their court members and all the events the year has in store.

Villa, Smith and Roberts will compete in the Blossomtime pageant in March for the titles of Miss and Mr. Blossomtime 2014.

Jessica Blank, an 18 year-old freshman at Southwestern Michigan College and recent Brandywine graduate, was crowned first runner-up to Miss Niles. Blank is the daughter of David and Tina Blank and is involved with Peer-to-Peer Asperger’s Mentoring Program, is a counselor at church camp and enjoys choir and performing in musicals. While in high school, Blank was the conference champion for tennis and received a coach’s award for cheerleading.

Hannah Walker, a 17 year-old junior at Niles High School, was crowned second runner-up to Miss Niles. Walker is the daughter of Melanie Woods and Steven Walker, and hopes to attend Michigan State University to pursue a degree in anesthesiology. She is involved in student council, volleyball, tennis, Adopt-A-Highway and Students Against Destructive Decisions, among other activities. Hannah has a 4.0 grade point average and was given the Western Michigan University music award for five years.

Rounding out the court was Meghan Lahti, an 18 year-old freshman at Lake Michigan College, who was chosen by the court members as Miss Congeniality 2014. She spends a lot of time with animals volunteering at the Cass County 4H Fairground, the Badger Christmas Tree Farm and Buchanan Westerners Club for the We Can Ride Program. She plans to obtain her Veterinarian Technician Degree and work with large animals.