Trappe crowned 2012 Miss Blueberry
ARGOS — “A World of Possibilities” was presented to the audience Saturday evening as the 2012 Marshall County Blueberry Festival opened its events with the Miss Blueberry Scholarship Pageant. Held at the Argos High School auditorium at 7 p.m., it was a well-planned event with little time wasted.
Sixteen young women from around Marshall County competed for three scholarships and a cash prize. The winner — Queen of the 2012 Blueberry Festival — is Brianna J. Trappe, an 18-year-old 2012 graduate of Culver Girls Academy. Trappe is the daughter of Rena J. and Brian Trappe. She plans to attend the University of Tulsa and major in chemical engineering. She will be assisted in this endeavor by the $1,250 queen’s scholarship. She enjoys reading novels, going to the beach, watching documentaries, jogging, baking, dancing, and going on long road trips with her friends.
As Miss Blueberry 2012, she will appear at scheduled events at the festival as well as wandering the grounds allowing people to talk with her. She will also appear in other Marshall County parades, such as the Bremen Firemen’s Festival, the Culver Lakefest, and the Bourbon Summerfest venues.
First runner-up is 18-year-old Olivia C. Hilliard, a 2012 graduate of Plymouth High School. She is the daughter of Traci and Scott Hilliard. She plans to use her $750 first runner-up scholarship to attend Indiana University Bloomington, majoring in elementary education and music education. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing at church, Walt Disney World, watching baseball, and baby-sitting.
Anyssa Leyva Alonso is the second runner-up. She is an 18-year-old 2012 graduate of Plymouth High School. She will use her $500 second runner-up scholarship to attend Butler University majoring in marketing. She enjoys working at Miller’s Merry Manor because the residents’ joyful spirits are so uplifting. She also enjoys scrapbooking, bike riding on trails, getting lost in a book, and exercising at least four days a week.
An award not decided by the judges but voted on by all the contestants is the Miss Friendship award. The 16 participants voted to honor Hailey Hennessy with this recognition of her friendliness to all contestants. She is a 20-year-old junior at Indiana University South Bend majoring in business and minoring in sustainability. She enjoys canoeing, biking, making butternut soup, and taking strolls through the woods. She received a $100 cash prize.
Following a welcome by emcee Adam Jividen, an opening dance number was performed by all contestants, Shelby Dirrim — Miss Blueberry 2011, and mascot Blueberry Hank (rendered in costume by Kristen Arriaga). Choreography was by Leanne Senter, who has directed the all-cast dance for several years.
Experts supporting this year’s pageant are well-equipped for their roles. Pageant Director Don Morrison, who chairs the pageant committee, is a legend in Marshall County. He has been involved with pageants for almost 50 years. Starting with the Plymouth contest which feeds into the Miss Indiana Pageant, he then became the executive director of the state contest for several years. Since Miss Indiana then competes in Miss America, he was also involved with the national pageant at the same time. He has judged 15 state Miss Contests. Bringing all of this expertise back to Marshall County, he has directed the Miss Blueberry event for the last five years. Remarkably, his pageant work is only a hobby. His career preparation was that of an accountant, which he still practices to this day. In addition, he is a County Council member, a member of the Marshall County Fair Board, a member of the Blueberry Festival board, a member of the county Planning Commission, treasurer of the Lions Club, and treasurer of the Adams Street Kids ministry.
Judges for this year’s event are very acquainted with the Miss Blueberry pageant. Linda Starr is very active in many aspects of Marshall County. She says, “I love our community.” Cassie Eberly was Miss Blueberry in 2009. Dr. Anneka Parks, a chiropractor with a practice in Bremen, was the 2003 Miss Blueberry.
Theme Wear was a segment of the pageant in which each contestant wore clothes to indicate her chosen field in life. In the Formal Wear segment, contestants were judged on the beauty of their formal gowns and their ability to answer spontaneously a question read by 2011 Miss Blueberry Shelby Dirrim. Dirrim also performed a solo following the intermission which she wrote and sang just for the pageant.
Then, the top five finalists were announced. In addition to the queen and first and second runners-up, Kelsey Lea Strahla and Maelee Ann Holderread constituted the five finalists. Strahla, 20, is the daughter of Sherry and Bud Strahla of Argos. She is a junior at the University of Southern Indiana majoring in nursing. Seventeen-year-old Holderread is the daughter of Marylynn Holderread. She plans to attend college majoring in secondary education.
Each finalist had to answer another impromptu question out of earshot of the other finalists. A farewell was given to 2011 queen Dirrim, and the audience watched a video of her experiences, following which she took her “final walk.”
All that remained was the important announcement of the winners. To rank the contestants, the judges were required to score the following categories: personal interview conducted earlier in the day – 40 percent; theme wear – 30 percent; and formal wear and onstage question – 30 percent.
The success of the 2012 Miss Blueberry Scholarship Pageant is due to the sponsors, King’s Jewelry for the queen’s crown, Fernbaugh’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry for the queen’s blueberry necklace, A.S.K. for Flowers for all flowers used, Photography by Jayme for the queen’s portrait, Argos Community Schools and Sandy Burroughs, and a host of volunteers who made this event possible.
Karen Oneal, president of the 2012 Blueberry Festival, said that the pageant has been ongoing since the 1970s, with a few years off during that time. Morrison said, “I was impressed with this production. We have been able to add a few touches such as the stage décor which make it more professional. This pageant was a class act.”