Miss, Mr. Cassopolis Scholarship Program looks to grow

Published 10:49 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

CASSOPOLIS — Members of the Cassopolis community have an extra incentive to travel to Niles on Saturday: The Miss and Mr. Cassopolis Scholarship Program will have a float there in the upcoming Apple Festival Parade.

The scholarship-based program is gearing up for the upcoming pageant season, most notably their own on Nov. 11. The program is no longer affiliated with Blossomtime. This year’s theme is “Mamma Mia!” Here we go again.” According to its chairperson, Sue Horstmann, the program has really grown over the past few years, and it is now doing more for the lower courts such as junior teen and teen divisions.

She said the goal of the program is to help the student participants become more well-rounded individuals, especially when it comes to addressing a crowd.

“We’re [set up to have] a nice selection of kids who are voted in to represent our community of all age groups,” Horstmann said. “We want help them not only bring a lot of good activity and a lot of good representation to the community, but grow them in a way that they have a high level of confidence with public speaking and public presentation that they normally wouldn’t have.”

In addition to competing in the Miss and Mr. Cassopolis pageant, the students who participate will also go out into the community by visiting the Cass County Council on Aging, the Cass County Medical Care Facility and the local animal shelter. They also help out at the local Christmas tree lighting and Easter events.

It is participating in events like these that help a winner successfully complete their reign, which is a requirement for students to receive scholarship money.

“They apply for us to send the scholarship to an approved University or secondary school,” Horstmann said. “The scholarship is paid directly to the school of their choice. Successful reiginies are exactly that. If there’s any type of infractions on social media, anything that might cause questions in regards to them representing our community at the highest standard, we would have to evaluate it to see if it in fact affects their successful representation.”

In addition to the Miss and Mr. winners, she said there is also scholarship for “Miss Congeniality” and “Mr. Nice Guy.”

For students competing in lower levels of the court, they could be eligible to receive savings bonds that they can use once they turn 18.

The first practice for Miss and Mr. Cassopolis will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Ross Beatty Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium.

“I would like to welcome any child that resides in the Cassopolis School District area to come to [this],” Horstmann said. “We make it all about fun. Mama Mia is going to have some great music in our pageant.”

Applications to participate can be picked up in the front offices at both Sam Adams Elementary School and Ross Beatty.

“Get an application and give it a try,” Horstmann said. “They shyest kids I’ve seen, after they are done with this program, they can speak publically, and participate better in class.”