BREMEN — Haley Foster took home the Distinguished Young Woman of Bremen title for 2012.
Held in Bowen Auditorium at Bremen High School, the event featured Amir Abbas, a journalist with the Fox 28 team in South Bend, as the host for the evening of Sunday, Dec. 2. The competition, formerly known as Junior Miss, allows seniors to compete for the local, state, and national title of Distinguished Young Woman as well as win scholarships of varying amounts. In total the competition has awarded more than $93 million to more than 700,000 young women. Julie Dilorenzo, the director of the Elkhart Distinguished Young Woman contest, helped out with Bremen’s competition this year as the former Bremen director, Pam Gunterman, retired from the position. Gunterman accepted applause and thanks from the audience on stage after the event. She said that she has loved being apart of the Distinguished Young Woman program, and that for the young ladies it is a “great way to work together their senior year.”
Lisa Lemler, winner of the title in 2003, accepted her new role as director with much “...thanks to the community…” and said she was “...so excited and honored to help.”
Seven young Bremen ladies participated in the competition. The young women were judged in five areas: scholastic achievement, interview, self-expression, talent, and physical fitness. The talent portion dominated the majority of the night.
Joanna Richardson began the talent portion with a color guard routine that was self-choreographed to the song “Work of Art,” by Demi Lovato. Richardson plans to study pre medicine in college, and enjoys tennis and sewing. After Richardson, Heidi Prawat played a musical piece on the piano which she arranged herself. She would like to study art therapy in the future. She was described as enjoying tennis, being vice president of the art club, and participating in school plays. Tiffane Walter also did a color guard routine to Adele’s popular hit, “Turning Tables.” She is interested in studying elementary education. She was described as being very involved with her youth group, and also likes to ride horses and perform in school plays.
Haley Foster, a young lady who hopes to attend Bethel College, participates in tennis, softball, and youth group. She sang “My Heart will go On,” by Celine Dion. Taylor Lashbrook followed Foster’s vocals by playing “Forever Flows in You” on the piano. Lashbrook plans to pursue a degree in pharmacology or medicinal chemistry. She participates in softball and volleyball. Haley Snyder was next, using her experience and love of dancing to perform a tap dance routine to the Jason Mraz song, “I’m Yours.” She wants to study speech and hearing pathology. Finally, Anna Borkholder ended the talent portion of the evening with her color guard performance to “Freedom in Me.” She plans to major in nursing.
After the interview, talent, and physical fitness portions were finished, the judges took an intermission to determine the winner. Haley Foster nearly swept the preliminary awards, winning the scholastic, interview, self-expression, talent, and spirit of Distinguished Young Woman categories. Haley Snyder won the people’s choice award, and Taylor Lashbrook won the physical fitness award. Haley Foster took home the 2012 Distinguished Young Woman title, winning $1,000 in scholarship money. Taylor Lashbrook won first runner up, earning a $700 cash scholarship. Second runner up was Anna Borkholder, who won a $300 cash scholarship. For more information about the DYW program, visit http://DistinguishedYW.org.