Miss Niles warms hearts at Hunter Ice Festival

Published 9:20 am Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Miss Niles Scholarship Organization has many functions outside of the most obvious one of choosing a Miss Niles and Mr. Niles to represent the city in the annual Blossomtime Pageant.

One of its most important functions is its positive involvement in the community.

This aspect of the organization was apparent over the weekend as all 10 members of the 2014 Miss Niles court volunteered during the Hunter Ice Festival in downtown Niles.

“We feel that it is our mission to serve the community of Niles and represent the community of Niles in a positive way,” said Tracey Hossfeld, Miss Niles chairwoman. “(Volunteering at the Hunter Ice Festival) is the perfect opportunity to show hospitality not only to Niles residents but to the many people who visit our city during the ice festival. Our main goal is to make everyone feel welcome here.”

Volunteering at the ice festival has become a tradition for the Miss Niles Scholarship Organization.

Hossfeld said they’ve been doing it since her daughter, Zarah Mumaw, was crowned Miss Niles in 2009.

This year, they volunteered in the Psi Iota Xi warming center in the Gallery Building at the corner of Second and Main streets for several hours Saturday and Sunday.

Volunteers helped distribute warm drinks and entertained the children who stopped in for a respite from the cold.

“They colored pages with the kids and helped them with arts and crafts,” Hossfeld said. “The kings and queens would sit down with them and talk about what they enjoyed most about the festival. We really tried to get the kids engaged and involved in what the festival is all about.”

Hossfeld said visiting children were excited to see the pageant members dressed up like they had just stepped off the stage.

“It was a neat experience because some of the kids would be like, ‘look it’s a princess,’” Hossfeld said. “It was a great opportunity for us to chat with the community and spend time with them.”

Miss Niles Court members volunteering were:

• Miss Niles 2014: Danielle Villa

• 1st Runner Up: Jessica Blank

• 2nd Runner Up: Hannah Walker

• Miss Congeniality: Meghan Lahti

• Mr. Niles: Ryan Roberts

• Mr. Niles: Chance Smith

• Little Miss Niles: Aubrey Jackson

• 1st Runner Up: Mya Francisco

• 2nd Runner Up: Keegan May

• People’s Choice: Mia Graziani