Petrie ready to head to Frankfort

Cassandra Petrie of Churubusco, earning the title of Whitley County 2011 Junior Miss last fall, leaves this weekend for the state program and a chance to become Indiana’s Junior Miss. Pam Thompson, co-organizer of the Whitley County program is organizing a send-off party for Petrie from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Friday at Churubusco High School so that her classmates, faculty, staff and the public can wish her well. She will leave Sunday and then return the following Sunday, Feb. 28 when a welcome home party will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Mountain Top Cafe in Churubusco. The public is welcome to come and talk to Petrie about her experience.A daughter of John and Cathy Petrie of Churubusco, Cassandra is a senior at Churubusco High School and has been involved in theater and show choirs throughout her high school career. She won the title and also the talent, fitness and Spirit of Junior Miss awards at the local program in September and has been in training for the state contest since then. Trying to find time to prepare for state competition has been a challenge for Petrie.The weather has been an issue as her practice interviews had been scheduled for Tuesdays, during the weeks of snowstorms. Applying for and auditioning for college has been difficult to work around as well. Petrie wants to major in vocal performance and acceptance into a college program requires auditions, which are taking place now.Then there’s her show choir competitions. But somehow, Petrie is getting it all done.Petrie has traveled to Frankfort, the site of the state event to meet the girls she will be competing against, her host family and the girl she will room with in Frankfort. “My roommate is one of eight children and has been homeschooled,” Petrie said. “She’s a little overwhelmed.” Petrie plans to watch last year’s program with her to help them both get an idea of what’s to come.“I was a student ambassador in Australia last summer,” Petrie said, and felt this experience has been very similar so far.She also met with her former competitors from Whitley County for some girl bonding time which Petrie said involved a lot of “giggling.”The bonds have grown strong, as most of the girls have made plans to travel to Frankfort and spend the night to be able to attend Petrie’s performances. “I wish there was some way I could thank everyone,” Petrie said.Kara Mawhorter, WC Junior Miss 2009 and Mindi Hoffman, WC Junior Miss 2010 both have given advice to Petrie on what to do at state.“Be yourself, win scholarship money, show yourself off and have fun,” Petrie said she was told by her predecessors.Petrie will be singing “Taylor the Latte Boy” for the talent portion of the program, which she also sang at the Whitley County program, winning the talent award.“I would rather be on stage than in the interview,” Petrie said as she feels more at home on the stage.Petrie said Hoffman gave her some good advice for overcoming her nerves.“She told me, ‘You’re the only girl from this area going, so enjoy yourself,’” Petrie said. “‘Soak it up!’”