BRIDGMAN — Miss Bridgman 2019 Krystin Buist said hello and goodbye during the “California Dreaming in the Golden State” pageant held Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Bridgman High School Performing Arts Center.

Buist (17, the daughter of Joel and Sarah Buist) was escorted to the stage by her father where she joined members of her court for the Miss Teen Bridgman farewell address shortly before being crowned the new Miss Bridgman by 2018 queen SarahRose Boughner.

She said being crowned Miss Bridgman “was definitely a memorable moment that I will cherish forever.”

Buist sad she’s especially looking forward to getting to know her sister Blossomtime queens.

She already knows her fellow Bridgman royals.

“Some of us even went to preschool together so we’ve been through it all with each other,” she said.

Joining Buist in the 2019 royal court are First Runner-up Makayla Kiel, Second Runner-up and Miss Congeniality Christi Stine, court member and top People’s Choice vote-getter Riley Bailey, Mr. Bridgman Tyler Steinbrook, and Mr. Nice Guy Justin Jannert.

Also crowned on Dec. 2 were Little Miss Bridgman 2019 Dempsey Demercado (9, a third-grader at Bridgman Elementary and the daughter of Dave and Nikki Demercado); and First Runner-up La’Shanna Sparks (7, a BES first-grader and the daughter of George and Jessica King).

“Wonderful” and “excited” were Demercado’s initial reactions to being crowned. She’s looking forward to the Blossomtime Coronation Ball and building the community float.

“I think this is a great opportunity for me.”

Buist (a senior at Bridgman High School) is active in varsity cheer, softball, color guard, DECA, Key Club, volunteering at Woodland Terrace Nursing Home and Sawyer Dance Academy. She plans to earn a degree from Twin Cities Beauty College and then attend Southwestern Michigan College to study Business with the goal of owning a salon.  

Kiel, 17, the daughter of Kevin and Sandi, is a senior at Bridgman High School. Her activities include DECA, cheerleading, choir, Student Senate, Peer to Peer Mentoring, volunteering at Sunday School classes and Youth Ministry. She is earning a Cosmetology degree and plans to pursue an associate degree in Business and eventually open a franchise of salons.

“I’m very excited for this year and I can’t wait to compete at Spirit,” she said.

Stine, 18, the daughter of John and Sharon Stine, is a senior at Bridgman High School. Her activities include National Honor Society, Key Club, band, volunteering at the Woodland Shores Food Pantry and teaching rec league softball. She wants to attend Olivet College and study Criminal Justice and Chemistry with the goal of working as a forensic scientist.

Miss Congenality means to me that I’m really liked by my friends and peers and I’m a person they know they can come to,” she said.

Bailey, 17, the daughter of Edgar Bailey and Stacie Klug, is a senior at Bridgman High School. Her activities include Key Club, Interact Club, Berrien County Animal Control, and Berrien County Youth Fair. She plans to join the U.S. Military and has the goal of becoming a top-ranked chef.

Steinbrook, 18, the son of Andrew and Heather Steinbrook, is active in DECA, band, varsity soccer and track. The Bridgman High School senior plans to attend Central Michigan University.

“We’re all really close … I’m really looking forward to having a lot of fun with them this year,” he said.

Jannert, 18, is the son of Brian and Ammy Jannert. The Bridgman High School senior’s activities include varsity golf, culinary school, Young Life and the Orange Crush Student Section. He plans to attend Ferris State or Fullsail University to study film and photography with a minor in business.

Among the 2018 royal court members saying their goodbyes were Little Miss Bridgman Brookelyn Rochefort (who said she hopes the next Little Miss Bridgman has as much fun as she did, singling out float building and the Coronation Ball as highlights); Miss Junior Teen Taylor Kirk (who said the past year has been “so much fun!”).

“Since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted to be a queen. Thanks to my family and friends I made it,” Buist said during her Miss Teen farewell.

Mr. Bridgman 2018 Jonah Stanage provided three basic rules for the next Mr. Bridgman. 1. Always listen to the person in charge; 2. Make the girls in your court laugh any chance you get; and 3. Be best friends with your queen.

“I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to put into words how incredible the past year was. I’ve enjoyed absolutely every moment of my reign and I would give anything to do it all over again,” Boughner said as part of her farewell address.

Royal Court members for 2018 also included (Little) Emma Sanders and Stella Ullig; (Teen) First Runner-up Grace Sanderson, Second Runner-up Ava Ward, Madison Rochefort, Stephanie DeMeulenaere and Kirsten Tio; (Miss) First Runner-up Emma Wimbush, Second Runner-up Amber Smith, Miss Congeniality Lauren Keller, Jada Sheriff and Morgan McGhee; and Mr. Nice Guy Kyle Buist.

Co-hosts for the Dec. 2 pageant were Wild Bill Lewis and Megan Hildebrandt (Miss Bridgman 2014).

Miss/Mr. Bridgman judges were: Sydney Harner, Tim Brock and Becky Thornsen. Pages were Abby Garrick (Miss Bridgman 2005), Jacqueline Carranza (Miss Bridgman 2016) and Katie Hartzler (Miss Bridgman 2017).

Judges for the Little Miss Bridgman portion of the pageant were Roxie Elliott, Karol Behrle and Marissa Klaxton. Pages were Arianna Hackett (Little Miss Bridgman 2013) and Olivia Hamlett (Little Miss Bridgman 2017).

Chairperson for the 2019 Miss Bridgman Scholarship Program is Alexandria Haney. Tamra Preston is the co-chair. Committee members are: Leslie Adams, Sarah Douglass, Katie Hartzler, Tina Hartzler, Megan Hildebrandt, Jordyn Ross and Treasa Ross.

Preston, chairperson from 2013 through 2018, was honored onstage by a group of Miss Bridgman queens including Boughner and Hildebrandt as “the most kind-hearted and selfless person and we just can’t thank her enough for everything.”

Preston said she’s loved watching all of the court members she’s worked with “grow and become the people they’re meant to be … I’m just proud to be a resident of Bridgman and proud to have these kids part of our community.”

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