PROOS: Photo contest winner visits Michigan Capitol

Michigan is full of landscapes and summer activities that make our state one of the most picturesque and fun places in the country. Nowhere else can you enjoy the water on one of more than 11,000 inland lakes and see the sunrise and sunset on miles of breathtaking beaches.

In an effort to help highlight our state’s natural beauty and positive way of life, I hosted the Pure Michigan Summer Photo Contest from August to December last year where residents could submit their favorite photographs taken during the summer.

Molly Pate of Berrien Springs was the contest’s first place winner and was recently my honored guest at the Michigan Capitol.

The purpose of the photo contest was to give Southwest Michigan residents like Molly an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents and the beauty of our great state.

We had an incredible response to the contest — with more than 100 photos being submitted.

Thankfully, we also had an outstanding judging panel that was able to choose 10 incredible finalists, and the people selected an amazing photo by Molly. Her picture, titled “Sunset Sail at South Haven Beach,” magnificently illustrates a summer sunset on Lake Michigan.

It was wonderful to welcome Molly Pate and her parents to the Michigan Capitol, recognize them during Senate session and hear from Molly about how she captured her inspiring photo.

“I laid down at the end of the pier in South Haven to take a shot of the sailboat on the calm water as the sun went down,” Molly said. “As I was taking the picture, a speedboat came across. At first, I thought ‘Oh no.’ However, the waves from the speedboat really make the photo.”

Molly’s winning photo will be on display in the Capitol for the entire year. Her picture and the other Top 10 finalist images are available by visiting the photo contest section on my Facebook page, the John Proos Supporters Page.

JOHN PROOS, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties. 

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