Latest Apple Festival Queen Will Soon Blossom

NAPPANEE --- The contestants are getting ready for the Miss Apple Blossom Scholarship Pageant as part of the Apple Blossom Festival next month.
Application deadline is just hours away -- 5 p.m. Friday -- so there is still a chance for late entrants.
This will be the 39th pageant. The pageant is meant to be educational, fun and most of all, memories of a special hometown event.
Pam Shaw is the Pageant Coordinator. She has been on the Festival committee for 14 years.
Through her seasons of dealing with the scholarship pageant, she has come away impressed with the level of competition.
For instance, one of the basic questions had to do with reading; not texting, but reading.
"And they always have a favorite book or even a favorite author," Pam said.
"Some like history, some like romance, so there is a diversity which makes it fun for me."
Pam and her committee are very focused on making this a life experience for the competitors.
"I have found them to be very honest and very forthright and that fits in with what we are trying to accomplish," she said.
"This is more about inner beauty; there is no bathing suit competition.
"We just want someone who is going to be a good representative of the festival and who will further their education."
Most if not all of the competitors have gone on to college.
Pam has worked to make the pageant a little different each ear.
This year's added swerve is a sports theme; competitors choose any sports team they wish.
They can wear a sports shirt representing the team and can even bring props such as the sport's equipment or ball.
All of this will be explained to contestants at the Aug. 24 workshop.
"I came up with that idea a couple of years ago," said Pam.
"I want to lighten it up a little bit."
Nerves are on edge, as one might imagine.
One of the rules keeps everyone but competitors and committee members out of the backstage area.
"Just the girls back there," Pam said. "I want them to bond a little. They are going to be doing a lot together, in festival events.
"I want them to have the unity of just having pageant girls together."
There have been special winners, in Pam's experience.
"In 2012 Mahala Miller was a first-timer, in any kind of pageant," remembers Pam. That was partially because her family had just emerged form the Amish lifestyle six years earlier, joining the mainstream.
"She won our pageant," said Pam. "Every year, our Queen goes to the Indiana State Festival. She won that. They have a scholarship, too."
She is a senior this year at Bethel College, now married, as Mahala Rethlake. She wants to be a writer.
"It is an exciting opportunity for us to send our Queen to the state festival and that was our first winner there," said Pam.
"My husband and I were invited to her wedding."
Most of the competitors have also gone on to college. They regularly come back to view the next generation of competitors. Two former competitors are helping Pam again this year, giving back to an event which gave them so much.
"They learn interview skills and how to develop relationships with other people," she said.
"That's why they come back and that's why I do this."
The rules for participation:
 Female entrant, ages 16-21 (as of Sept. 1).
 Contestant must reside in Elkhart County or the Wa-Nee school district and intend to continue to maintain residence within Elkhart County or the Wa-Nee school district for at least one full year.
 Contestant must be born a female whose age shall not be less than sixteen (16) and not more than twenty-one (21) years on Sept, 1. Contestant must provide either a copy of her birth certificate or driver’s license as proof of age.
 Contestant must be enrolled in high school, an accredited home school program, a high school graduate or enrolled in college or advanced education by Sept. 1 of the pageant year in which she will compete.
 Grade point average of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 grading scale is required. A proof of grade point must be provided with a copy of a recent report card or transcript.
 Contestant must be sponsored by a business, firm, or organization. The sponsor agrees to pay the $100 entry fee and to make sure all of the rules and regulations are understood at the time of entering the pageant. "I am admirable of the sponsors who just want to sponsor a competitor, no questions asked," said Pam. "That's a big part of our community."
 Contestant must not be married or pregnant nor have been married (or had a marriage annulled) or pregnant. If Miss Apple Blossom 2014 becomes pregnant or convicted of a crime anytime during her reign, she will be required to relinquish her title and return all gifts and cash prizes.
 Contestants must not use or consume any illegal controlled dangerous substances or abuse the use of alcohol or other dangerous substances.
 Only contestants and committee members will be allowed at Preliminaries.
No one except committee members and pageant staff will be allowed backstage with contestants before and during the pageant.
 Contestants agree any visible body piercing should not be worn while representing the Nappanee Apple Festival in any capacity (i.e., parades, festival activities, attending other pageants, and other activities she may attend as a representative of the Nappanee Apple Festival). However, jewelry appearing in the ear will be permitted.
 Contestants must be of good moral character and shall not have been convicted of any crimes and shall possess poise, personality, intelligence, charm and the ability to speak in public.
The Pageant Coordinator and the Apple Festival Core Committee reserves the right to approve all contestants and to determine without questions, their eligibility to participate in the Miss Apple Blossom Scholarship Pageant.
If chosen as Miss Apple Blossom 2014, the Queen understands behavior and actions at all times (not just when wearing the crown/sash) during her reign will affect my ability to continue in the role of Miss Apple Blossom.
The Pageant Coordinator and the Apple Festival Core Committee reserve the right to revoke the title if behavior and/or actions are deemed inappropriate. If the title is revoked from the Miss Apple Blossom 2014, the crown and sash will be awarded to the first runner-up.
 If selected, the new Queen agrees she may not (from the date of selection) advertise, endorse or in any way infer support for any commercial product or make personal appearances as a representative of Miss Apple Blossom without written consent of the Pageant Coordinator and/or the Nappanee Apple Festival Director.
 Contestants must agree that if selected Miss Apple Blossom, or a member of the Court, contestant will participate in all Miss Apple Blossom activities (as listed below) and agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the Miss Apple Blossom Scholarship Pageant. Participation in these events is not meant to be a hardship, rather an opportunity to represent the Nappanee Apple Festival.
Required for All Participants:
 All participants in the 2014 pageant are required to be in the 2014 Apple Festival Parade on Sept. 20 and weekend festivities.
 Be willing to compete in the Indiana State Festivals Association (ISFA) Pageant in November. If the Queen does not qualify for the State Pageant, the next qualified court member will compete.
 To compete in the ISFA State Scholarship Pageant, the Apple Blossom Queen must meet all requirements as set by the IFSA pageant rules and regulations.
 ISFA rules require that contestants be at least 17 years of age.
 Apple Blossom Queen must be accompanied to the ISFA Conference by the Pageant Coordinator or member of the Apple Festival Core Committee and a female chaperone (mother or grandmother).
 The Apple Festival will pay for one hotel room for two nights and four guest passes to the ISFA dinner and pageant on Saturday evening.
 Appear at Christmas at Main & Market Street Parade in Nappanee (November/December 2014)
 Appear at4th of July Parade in Nappanee (July 2015)
 Appear atElkhart County 4-H Fair Parade in Goshen (July 2015)
 Appear atMiss Apple Blossom Pageant in Nappanee (September 2015)
 Appear at Christmas at Main & Market Street Parade in Nappanee (December 2014)
 Appear at 4th of July Parade in Nappanee (July 2015)
 Appear at Elkhart County 4-H Fair Parade in Goshen (July 2015)
 Miss Apple Blossom Queen: $1,000.
 First Runner-up: $750
 Second Runner-up: $500
 People’s Choice Award: Cash Award (details below)
Payment will be made by check to the winner’s college choice or as otherwise determined by the Nappanee Apple Festival Core Committee.
“People’s Choice Award” will be given to the contestant that receives the most votes. To cast a vote for a contestant, each voter must pay $1 along with signing a signature page for the “People’s Choice Award”. Voters can vote more than once.
The winner will be announced as the “People’s Choice” and will receive 50 percent of all money collected from all the contestants' votes for scholarship. More information on the “People’s Choice Award” will be provided to each contestant upon receipt of a completed application and required materials.
Required events for the Apple Blossom Queen candidates: Aug. 24 Workshop, 2 p.m.; Sept. 7 Luncheon & Preliminaries, 12:30 p.m.; Sept.18 Rehearsal, Depot Plaza 3:30 p.m. and Scholarship Pageant, Depot Plaza, 7 p.m.
Judging based on:
 Interview: 50 points total
 Introduction: 10 points
 Eye Contact: 10 points
 Ease of answer: 10 points
 Grammar: 20 points
 Biographical Information: 25 points
 Activities: 5 points
 Grade point average: 15 points
 Quality of Application: 5 points
 Essay: 45 points
 Confidence: 15 points
 Content of essay: 10 points
 Eye contact with audience: 10 points
 Ease of presentation: 10 points
 Stage Presence: 80 points
 Poise and confidence: 30 points
 Body language: 20 points
 Smile and grace:– 30 points
In addition, the judges will also be looking for a contestant who will provide a bridge between youth and the Nappanee business community; be a positive role model for Nappanee’s youth; represent Nappanee throughout Elkhart Country in a positive manner; be an ambassador for the Apple Festival, and possess a high level of communications and public speaking capabilities.
Points and score sheets are for judges assessment only. Final selection is the judge’s decision. The Nappanee Apple Festival Pageant Coordinator reserves the right to change the foregoing terms and conditions at any time as may deemed expedient.
 Include a typed, 300-word essay on why you like the Nappanee Apple Festival
 Types on plain white 8½ x 11 paper
 Double-spaced lines; name in the top right hand corner
 Do not fold or staple (keep as neat as possible for duplicating purposes)
 Due at application submission.