DYW: CCHS senior garners title

COLUMBIA CITY — Corinne Kauffman, Col-umbia City High School senior, was named the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Whitley County Saturday night.“I am so overwhelmed,” said Corinne. “I am so thankful to be here with all these girls. I’ve had a wonderful experience. This has been an experience of a life time.”Corinne is the daughter of John and Sue Kauffman. Also returning to relinquish her position as the current Distinguished Young Woman (DYW), Michaela Thomas, last year’s DYW passed out the awards.After honoring Corinne as the 2013 DYW, Thomas said, “I know Corinne. She is one of these people who takes every opportunity to grow. The opportunities and the people she’ll meet will grow her. I am so excited for her. She is one of my best friends so I am excited to spend time at with her in this.”As Thomas finishes up her official duties as DYW, she said she won’t be done promoting the program.“I am always going to be a firm believer of the program. It is a program you can have faith in. I think it has helped me identify who I am.”Sue said she was surprised when she heard her daughter’s name called, but she is excited to see her daughter win something that she believes Corinne has always exemplified.“I am so proud of her and what she’s turned into. She has grown up and matured and is comfortable in her own skin. She’s not a scared little kid anymore. She’s ready to go out and face the world,” said Sue.In the middle of the camera flashes, hugs and tears, Corinne said what she most enjoyed about her DYW experience is getting to know the other contestants. She said the entire experience has been a lot of fun.Now that she has gained the title of DYW 2013, Corinne will go off to Kokomo to participate in the state program. She said, “I am looking forward to meeting new people and going out there and giving it my all.”Corinne said, “I always want to thank my parents for supporting me. I thank my Lord and Savior for putting me in the right place at the right time. I give all the glory to Him. I am thankful for Pam and for what she does to help us all in this program.”One special award was presented to Frances Stuckey Brown. She was honored with the Life Time Supporter Award for her long-standing support for the DYW program. Other winners included First Runner-up Jenna Shambaugh from Churubusco High School, Second Runner-up Tiffany Schuman of Whitko High School. Corinne also took home the awards for Fitness, Talent and the Spirit of Distinguished Young Woman. Other winners included Jenna Shambaugh from Churubusco High School in both the Panel Interview and Self-Expression categories as well as Laura Hippensteel, of Whitko High School, who was given the award for Scholastics.