Anne Zebell crowned 2016 Miss Dowagiac

Outgoing queen Tori Smith crowns Anne Zebell as Miss Dowagiac 2016 during the 77th annual scholarship pageant Saturday night. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Outgoing queen Tori Smith crowns Anne Zebell as Miss Dowagiac 2016 during the 77th annual scholarship pageant Saturday night. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

True to the pageant’s tagline, “There’s Magic in the Air,” Saturday turned out to be quite the enchanted evening for Anne Zebell.

The Dowagiac Union High School senior became the 77th young woman to hold the crown of Miss Dowagiac, during the annual scholarship pageant inside a packed middle school performing arts center. On top of her new title and regalia, the 17-year-old will receive a $4,000 scholarship for the college of her choice, along with an assortment of other prizes.

When asked by event MC Joe “Jason” Urbanski about how she felt immediately after receiving the crown from outgoing queen Tori Smith, Zebell simply replied “very blessed,” before thanking the many family members and friends who have supporter her over the years.

Zebell is the daughter of Steve and Claudia Zebell.

The senior is the president of the high school Interact Club, secretary of the National Honors Society, and a member of the student senate, choir and varsity soccer team.

Zebell plans on studying at Southwestern Michigan College following her graduation from high school, with the intent of pursuing a career in music and communications.

The title of Miss Dowagiac was just one of three awards Zebell received that evening. Prior to her coronation, the student received the $250 communications scholarship, awarded to her for her platform on the history of the Pokagon Band, as well as the inaugural $700 Judy Dodd Community Service Scholarship (named in memory of the longtime pageant supporter, who passed away in 2014).

Joining Zebell in this year’s court of honor were First Runner-up Brittany Malin and Second Runner-up and Miss Congeniality Di’maan McGill.

Malin, a senior at Dowagiac Union High School, is the daughter of Mike and Leslie Malin. A member of the National Honor Society, The Chieftain Monitor, chamber choir and varsity volleyball at her school, the 18-year-old plans on studying marine biology after graduating.

Malin will receive a $2,000 scholarship to the school of her choice. The senior also received special recognition for selling the most “happy ads” in this year’s program.

McGill, also a senior at Dowagiac Union High School, is the daughter of Crystal Smith and Richie Bacon, and Monte McGill, Sr. She is a member of the varsity soccer team, chamber choir, Front Row Crew, student senate, Chieftain Heart club and mentor at Patrick Hamilton Elementary. She intends on attending college after graduating high school to study social work management and criminal justice.

She will receive a $1,500 scholarship for winning second runner-up and $250 for her selection as Miss Congeniality.

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