ST. JOSEPH — Paw Paw resident Amanda Loehrs was crowned 2018 Miss Heart of Blossomtime earlier this month at St. Joseph High School.
The Miss Heart Pageant originated in 1992, offering young women living in communities that do no host a hometown pageant – including Allegan, Covert, Decatur, Dowagiac, Fennville, Lawton, Marcellus, Mattawan, Paw Paw, Three Rivers and Vicksburg – the opportunity to compete for Miss Blossomtime.
Loehrs will join her sister queens competing for more than $20,000 in scholarships in the Miss/Mr. Blossomtime pageants. The 2018 pageants will be held March 11-12 at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center.
Loehrs is a senior at Paw Paw High School with dual enrollment at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She is the daughter of Jody and Jeff Loehrs.
Upon graduation, she plans to study toward a doctorate of pharmacy. She has been a member of the competitive cheer team, Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Key Club.
First Runner-Up was Aubrey Nespodzany of Mattawan, a student at Mattawan High School. She is the daughter of Buffy and Joe Nespodzany.
After graduation, she plans to attend Western Michigan University to study interdisciplinary health services/exercise science to become a physical therapist. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Pre-Healthcare Club and Peer 2 Peer Program.
Second Runner-Up was Makaela Castaneda of Dowagiac, a senior at Dowagiac Union High School.
She plans to attend LMC to study radiology and become an MRI technician. She is a member of the football sideline cheer team, competitive cheer, Chieftain Heart, Rotary Interact and track.
Harli Ivey of Dowagiac, the daughter of Sherri Ivey and Ray Payne, was named Miss Congeniality. She is a student at Southwestern Michigan College and plans to become a nurse.
Representing Mr. Heart of Blossomtime will be T.J. Conklin of Marcellus, the son of Jeff and Susan Conklin.
He attends Decatur High School, and upon graduation his goal is to, one day, own and operate a cattle ranch raising purebred Angus. He is now working on becoming a firefighter, like his father and grandfather. He is involved with the Drama Club, varsity wrestling and football, 4-H and band.
Competing for the title of Miss Teen Blossomtime were 12 contestants ranging in age from 13 to 15.
Raelyn Degroff was crowned Miss Teen Blossomtime 2018. She is the daughter of Jim and Nikki DeGroff.
First runner-up was Tori Carter, a 10th-grader at Lakeshore High School and the daughter of Angela and Troy Carter.
Second runner-up was Breckyn Bussey of St. Joseph, an eighth-grader at Upton Middle School and the daughter of Michelle and Tom Bussey.