BERRIEN SPRINGS — Future FBI agent Holly Ward is the new Miss Berrien Springs 2017. The Berrien Springs High School senior was chosen from a field of seven contestants Saturday night before a crowd of 500 people at the Howard Performing Arts Center on the Andrews University campus.
The Miss Berrien Springs contest theme was “A Garden Party” in keeping with the overall Blossomtime theme of “If it starts with a B, it must be Blossomtime.” Holly will compete with other community queens for the Miss Blossomtime title March 12-13 at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center.
Holly, 17, the daughter of Rachel and Ted Ward, wore a sleeveless white fitted mermaid style gown patterned with black lace detail and pearls.
She plans to attend Purdue University to double major in criminal justice and digital media. Her goal is to work for the FBI or a SWAT team and to raise awareness about human trafficking. She said “bulletproof” when asked what word best describes her and described bravery as standing up for what one believes in no matter the consequences.
Her activities and honors include cheerleading, cross country, track, student council, drama club, Spanish club, honor roll, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership and volunteering at her church. She helped with tornado relief efforts in Illinois.
Berrien Springs High School senior Jordan Weaver was chosen first runner up in the contest. She is 17 and the daughter of Tracy Bauer. She plans to attend Southwestern Michigan College to study nursing. Her goal is to be a neo-natal nurse.
Her activities and honors include honor roll, softball, choir, umpiring softball games and volunteering at the Berrien County Youth Fair. She is a co-op classroom aide at Blossomland Learning Center in Berrien Springs.
Berrien Springs High School senior Laura Simmons repeated as second runner up after being chosen for that honor in the 2016 contest. She is 18 and the daughter of Sarah and Tim Simmons. She is dual enrolled at Lake Michigan College and plans to transfer to Western Michigan University to major in human resources.
Her activities and honors include school musicals, the Bel Canto women’s choir, beginner hunter jumper champion at the fair, Unsung Hero award winner at the Twin City Players, My Michigan Hero Essay and Ayn Rand Essay finalist, high school office aide, LMC leadership club and founder of Hunger Starts at Home.
Bridgman High School senior Julie Jasper was chosen Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants. She is 17 and the daughter of Jeff and Sara Jasper. She plans to attend Southwestern Michigan College to get a degree in business. She plans to further her education in fashion and cosmetology and become a personal stylist.
Her activities and honors include National Honor Society, honor roll, varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track and field, district honors in volleyball, all-conference honors in track, Glee Club and Interact Club.
The new queen and her court received educational scholarships with the queen getting $800 and the runners up and Miss Congeniality each getting $400.
Other contestants were Elizabeth Cromwell, Ramsden Holets and Meghan Miller. Two $250 scholarships in memory of Bea Herman and Tim Pullano went to Jordan Weaver and Elizabeth Cromwell. Jordan sold the most tickets, while Julie sold the most ads.
Six-year-old Madison Zelmer won the Little Miss Berrien Springs contest. She is the daughter of George and Rachael Zelmer and is a kindergartner at Mars Elementary School.
Other Little Miss contestants were KaliLynn Hushower, Rhyan Perkins, Dylan Rospierski and Katherine Starbuck.
Former Miss Blossomtime Lainie Von Behren served as mistress of ceremonies. Allison and Lynda Hurlow were the contest chairpersons. Judges for the queen contest were Chris Barnes, Dana Humes and Michelle Warner. Little Miss judges were Kelly Baptist and Brianna Bell.