New Blossomtime preliminary pageant available in Cass

CASSOPOLIS — Cassopolis students wishing to participate in the Blossomtime pageant still have the opportunity to do so thanks to two of its former participants.

Sisters Ashley Sampson and Whitney Sposato recently decided to co-chair a Blossomtime affiliated Miss Cassopolis program after it was decided that the Miss and Mr. Cassopolis program was no longer going to be affiliated with Blossomtime. Pompey participated in the program in 2003, while Sposato participated in 2008.

“Currently, there are two Miss Cassopolis pageants,” Sampson said. “One is a Miss Cassopolis and Mr. [Cassopolis] scholarship program, and there is a Miss Cassopolis Blossomtime affiliate program, which is the one that we will be running.

Tentatively, the pageant is expected to be held this upcoming December or January. The first meeting will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, at the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District. It is open to young women and men who will be between the ages of 17 and 19 by Mar. 12, 2019.

“It’s something we thought long and hard about, and Whitney and I decided that we wanted to do this together to be able to give back to our community, as well as an organization that kind of helped mold us into the adults that we are,” Sampson said.

Those wishing to participate can email MissCassopoliscpo@gmail.com.

“Miss Cassopolis has been affiliated with the Blossomtime dating back to the early ‘50s,” Sampson said. “They had the connection/relationship with the festival. At the end of this year, it was decided by the current Miss Cassopolis chairman to not participate with the Blossomtime festival. At that point in time, Blossomtime reached out and wanted to still allow this opportunity for our youth and offer this experience.”

Sampson said a major motivation for her and her sister to lead the event is because of how rewarding of an experience it was for them. It helped improve their public speaking and interview skills, while providing them with the opportunities to develop valuable interpersonal relationships. That includes the 22 other kings and queens participating from communities in southwest Michigan, who will be participating in Miss Blossomtime.

There also be financial incentives for the students to participate.

“There’s almost $20,000 in scholarship opportunities throughout the Blossomtime festival that the king and queen can obtain,” Sampson said.

She also talked about how important of a tradition Blossomtime is to the community, and that it dates back to way before she was born.

“The Blossomtime festival is over 100 years old,” Sampson said, “so it’s something that’s been going on for years.”

When it came down to it, Sampson and Sposato wanted to make sure that all current students did not miss out on an opportunity that students before them found so much value in. For the sister duo, that was worth the extra time.

“For 21 years of my life, I’ve known this experience and it’s something we wanted to give back to,” Sampson said. “It’s all a volunteer experience. We’re excited to give back our community.”

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