Ruth family donates in daughter’s memory
Published 8:38 am Friday, June 26, 2015
For Charmin Ruth and her family, the decision on what to do with a memorial for their late daughter Katie may have taken a few years, but it was definitely worth the wait.
Katie Ruth was killed in a two-car accident on M-62 in 2001 on her way to a Miss Cassopolis meeting.
The family set up a memorial through the Cassopolis Public Schools, but the money was never used.
So when Cassopolis Superintendent Tracy Hertsel informed the Ruth family that the money was still available, the decision to give it to the Miss Cassopolis Pageant was an easy one.
“I don’t know why, but 14 years later, we are getting a call from Tracy Hertsel that the money has been sitting here all this time,” Ruth said.
“It was just divine intervention of something that led us to what we should do with that money. I was real thankful to Tracy because I thought they had used it. He said they hadn’t and I thought what a better way to use this than to give it to Miss Cass because it has been in our family since 1977. We were really excited about it.”
Ruth also found some old crowns that had not even been taken out of the box. She donated those to be used for the little princess pageant.”
Ruth’s ties to the Miss Cassopolis Pageant run deep. She not only was a contestant, she has also been a co-choreographer, choreographer and then ended up being the chairman and the choreographer.
“So I was involved with Miss Cass for over 20 years,” Ruth said. “When I retired, Katie took over. Unfortunately she was working on only her third pageant when she passed away. So we postponed that one. Got ourselves back together and finished it for her.”
“Katie learned to walk at one of the Miss Cass rehearsals,” Ruth said. “She went out for it for two years and won Miss Congeniality her senior year. She was always there with me. I involved her and our son Eric. So it was only natural for her I guess to take it over.”
Current pageant director Melody Kuemin is thrilled that the pageant is receiving the donation.
“We are honored the Ruth family choose the Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Organization to receive this donation,” she said. “We offer scholarships for our court members and want to be able to increase the scholarship amounts we will be offering in the future. This donation is allowing us to take care of a few things that urgently need to be updated. The first thing we are using the donation towards is to update the cape that our Queen gets to wear when she’s crowned and throughout the year.
“The current cape we are using needs repairs and to be updated. Every year the queen’s name and how she does at the Blossomtime Pageant gets embroidered into this cape. However the cape hasn’t been updated since 2003. Therefore, we are now able to get the cape embroidered with the past 12 queens’ information, which will then fill up this cape. This cape will then be retired at the end of this year and the donation will allow us to also purchase another cape to use in 2016 as well as a wooden box to showcase the current cape in.”
Kuemin is also humbled by the donation.
“We are very grateful and honored to receive this donation,” she said. “We want to extend a heartfelt thank You to the Ruth family.”
Anyone interested in becoming a 2016 contestant or a committee member with the Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Pageant may contact them at email@example.com for more information.