Petrie chosen as last Jr. Miss

   Cassandra Petrie of Churubusco won the honor of last Whitley County Junior Miss — winning the talent, fitness and Spirit of Junior Miss awards as well — at Saturday evening’s program at Columbia City High  School.
   Katie Stetzel of Columbia City received first runner-up and Olivia Western of Columbia City received second runner-up.
   The scholarship program will continue, but under a new name — the Distinguished Young Women scholarship program.
   Petrie is a daughter of John and Cathy Petrie, class president, on the student council, a gold medalist at ISSMA contest and a member of the Thespians, receiving Best Thespian and Best Actress awards. She performed “Taylor, the Latte Boy” as her talent, singing of her love of a Starbucks coffee barrista to the amusement of the audience and the judges.
   Petrie also won the Spirit of Junior Miss award, but spoke glowingly of her fellow competitors and their giving spirits. She said one of the pianists, Stetzel, helped Petrie and Marla Martinez with their vocal warmups before the talent portion of the program.
   Petrie is in the process of narrowing  a search for a college, planning on majoring in music performance.
   Other scholarship winners were Nicole Yingst of Columbia City for the scholastic award and Marla Martinez of Churubusco for self-expression. Western won the panel interview award.
   Highlights of the program included a slide show tribute to the 9/11 victims and their families, showing scenes from ground zero taken by Pam Thompson, organizer and board member of the Junior Miss  program. Kara Mawhorter, Whitley County Junior Miss 2009 sang “America, the Beautiful” during the slide  show.
   In the fitness portion of the program, the girls worked out to the songs, “America” by Prince, “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus and “Rockin’ in the USA” by John Mellencamp.
   Emcees, Greg Hockemeyer and Michelle Bowyer Duggan returned this year, entertaining the crowd without a hitch.
   Mindi Hoffman, WC Junior Miss 2010, performed a vocal solo “Showoff,” and gave her farewell speech prior to the announcement of the 2011 Junior Miss. She was in the final eight at the state program last February receiving awards in self-expression and the panel interview. She credited the late Bob Brittain for the interviewing skills she gained and thanked Pam Thompson and Anne Rentschler for all their hard work and support of her for the state program.
   Ruby Sherman, age 90, of Columbia City, was in attendance again, keeping her record of never missing a Junior Miss program in its 46-year history.