LETTER: Thank you, Edwardsburg

Published 10:01 am Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, your Miss Edwardsburg 2018 is… contestant #2, Amber Barnosky!”

This is a sentence that still completely overwhelms my heart with joy, and I can easily say that no one single sentence has changed my life so much as this one. I have been involved with the Miss Edwardsburg Youth Scholarship Program for many years now, serving as Miss Pre-Teen, Miss Teen 2nd Runner-Up, and Miss Edwardsburg 2nd Runner-Up, and ever since I was a young girl, I longed to become Miss Edwardsburg. This past year, I was blessed with the opportunity to fulfill this dream. 

The moment I was crowned I knew how truly fortunate I was to be graced with the position of Miss Edwardsburg, but what I did not know was how much this year would change me. When you put the crown on, you become something larger than yourself. Not only are you representing an organization, but you are representing an entire village. I took this responsibility to heart and represented our village of Edwardsburg to the best of my abilities at every chance I got.

Most obviously I was able to do this during the many parades I was able to be a part of, and I loved every second of those. But it was the little things, such as giving a hug to a little girl that was secretly admiring the crown I wore, or smiling at strangers and seeing their faces light up, that truly made my year of service unforgettable.

I am not the only woman who has been graced with the opportunity to represent the Village of Edwardsburg. Starting in 1957 with a single young woman representing our village, the program has now grown to bless more than 16 young people, ranging in age from 5 to 19, with the opportunity to do so every year. These youths gain highly valuable skills from their year of service, such as public speaking skills, interview skills, dress for success, mentoring opportunities, leadership skills, lifelong friends, and so much more. 

The Miss/Mr. Edwardsburg program has also been affiliated with the state of Michigan’s oldest and largest multicultural festival — The Blossomtime Festival — for 62 years now.

As Miss Edwardsburg, I was able to participate in numerous events this cherished festival holds throughout the year, the first which being the Miss/Mr. Blossomtime pageant, where I gained 22 sister queens from surrounding communities that I grew close to throughout our year of service. Together we participated in events such as a tour of the major local farms, a trip to the state capital, a visit to the Shriners Hospital, and the Blessing of the Blossoms, just to name a few.

As my year as Miss Edwardsburg draws to a close, I would like to thank the many people that made my year of service possible. I truly don’t know what I would’ve done without my amazing chairperson, Tammy Boyer. Whether it was the many late-night text messages about the Miss Blossomtime Pageant, or the little confidence boosts you gave me before public speaking events, I will never forget what you have done for me in becoming the young woman that I am today.

To my parents, Maureen and Donald Barnosky, I cannot thank you enough for always supporting me in whatever my heart desires to do. Although I was so busy I hardly saw you, I could always count on you to be at every event with a snack and a smile, and that meant the world to me.

To my sister, Mallory, thank you so much for being there supporting me throughout every step of this journey. I could always count on you to give the best fashion and hair advice.

A big thank-you to Kim and Chad Burger for graciously hosting float building. Many thanks go out to my wonderful 2018 Court of Honor and their families, to my friends for all of their support, my school system and administration for being so flexible with my Miss Edwardsburg schedule, the Edwardsburg Village Council, the American Legion 365 for allowing us to use their facilities to practice, and our many amazing corporate, local, and personal sponsors. The Miss Edwardsburg program could not do the amazing things they do without each and every one you.

Most importantly I would like to thank the Village of Edwardsburg for allowing me to serve as their queen for a year. It has been a great honor. Good luck to the next Miss/Mr Edwardsburg 2019. May your reign be a memorable one filled with exciting opportunities. I will forever be grateful!

On Dec. 1, 2018, at 4 p.m. at the Edwardsburg Performing Arts Center the Miss/Mr. Edwardsburg Youth Scholarship Program will be showcasing our next court of honor to be selected for 2019. Tickets are available in advance through the contestants and their families or by emailing our committee at missedwardsburgpageants@gmail.com to reserve your tickets that will be available at the door for the advance ticket price of $15 each. If purchased after Nov. 25 the ticket price is $20 each. Hope to see everyone there!

Forever your Miss Edwardsburg 2018 Amber Barnosky