NEW BUFFALO — The Community of New Buffalo gained a new royal court for 2020 on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Crowned Miss New Buffalo 2020 during the evening “Springing into Blossomtime” pageant held in the New Buffalo Performing Arts Center was Paige Bluschke while Andrew Kuta II and Nick Keen began their reigns as Mr. New Buffalos.
Members of the court also include First Runner-up Clair Workman and Second Runner-up Hope Motycka. All attend New Buffalo High School.
Bluschke (also crowned Miss Congeniality) said she is looking forward to the entire year with the entire court and “having so much fun and learning from it.”
Keen said he was “looking forward to sharing more memories with not only … Andrew Kuta, but also the new Miss New Buffalo Paige Bluschke.”
As for Kuta: “I’m looking forward to meeting a lot more people and being able to speak in front of people.”
Bluschke, 16, a junior at New Buffalo High School, is the daughter of Scott and Jenn Bluschke and Kristine Koble. She plans to become a high school teacher specializing in special education/high-need students and is currently a volunteer with the Humane Society. a Peer-to-Peer mentor and basketball team manager.
Kuta, a 17-year-old senior, is the son of Andrew Kuta; Keen is an 18-year-old senior, is the son of Todd and Mercedes Keen.
Clair Workman, a 17-year-old senior, is the daughter of David and Dawn Workman
Hope Motycka, 17, an NBHS senior, is the daughter of Anthony Motycka and Belinda Motycka.
Earlier in the day during a Fireworks-themed pageant the following royalty was chosen: Little Miss New Buffalo 2020 Kate Welsh; Little Mr. New Buffalo James Martin; Miss Junior Teen Ava Jackson; and Miss Teen New Buffalo Emma Reitz.
Welsh, 7, a second-grader and the daughter of Ryan and Meredith Welsh, said she thinks the next year will be really fun and helpful to the community.
Reitz, 13, an eighth-grader and the daughter of Matt and Alisha Reitz, said she is looking forward to the Blossomtime Coronation Ball, all of the parades, meeting new people, and “helping out my community and being a great example.”
“I was so happy I was literally crying,” Jackson said of her crowning moment. The 11-year-old is a fifth-grader and the daughter of Amanda Ramsey and Andrew Jackson.
Martin, 8, a third-grader and the son of Sarah Martin, said he’s is definitely looking forward to “the parade.”
Court members/contestants also include: (Little Miss/Mr.) First Runner-up Katie Lambert; Second Runner-up Kinsley Oldenwald; contestants Ella Lijewski, Abbey Ordiway, Gabriella Bergquist and Ty Hadley; (Junior Teen) First Runner-up Fallyn Reber; Second Runner-up Emily Lambert; (Teen) First Runner-up Mackenzie Bombin.
Saying their farewells and taking their final walks across the stage were the following 2019 members of the royal court: Miss New Buffalo Olivia Haskins; co-Mr. New Buffalos Jacob Smith (also First Runner-up to Mr. Blossomtime) and Mikey Tran; Miss Teen Jordan Bryk; Miss Junior Teen Kaitlyn Rainwater; Little Mr. New Buffalo Alvin Tran; and Little Miss New Buffalo Charlee Churchill.
Bryk said her favorite part of the year was “getting to know all all of these girls personally … sharing experiences with them and meeting other courts, and the parades.”
“My favorite part of this year was getting crowned,” Churchill said.
Alvin Tran said he especially liked the Grand Floral Parade “because I got to be on TV.”
Haskins said Tour Week, the Farm Tour (although she did not kiss a piglet) and learning about Southwest Michigan were some of the highlights of her year.
Olivia Haskins and Jacob Smith emceed the afternoon pageant while Tim Taylor was host for the evening event.
New Buffalo Pageant Co-chairs Tracy Tanksley and Angela Dupre welcomed everyone to the pageants and thanked this year’s sponsors including: (Platinum) New Buffalo Beach Club, the Boulley Family, Harbor Country Marine Service, the Thorn Family and Four Winds Casino; (Gold) Timothy Jeffrey Salon; (Silver) City Flowers, Terrace Room and Bentwood.
Dupre also urged all women to get an annual mammogram.
“They truly can save your life.”
Judges were: (Fireworks Pageant) Jamie Katelic, Dylan Catalino and Kim Thumm; (Springing into Blossomtime) Brett Godush, Chelsey Schmidt and Lindsey LeValley.