By Starrla Cray
HOWARD LAKE, MN A girl doesn’t have to be the “princess” type to represent the community of Howard Lake.
Chelsea Smith, for instance, who describes herself as a “tomboy,” remembers seeing a flyer at school advertising the royalty program, and thinking, “That looks kind of fun.”
Some people told her she wasn’t cut out for the job, but she decided to prove them wrong.
It worked, and in 2012, Smith was chosen as Miss Howard Lake.
Smith later went to college for dairy operations management, and is now working on a dairy farm in Cokato.
“The [royalty] program helped me so much,” Smith said. “I was really shy, and it helped me open up.”
Last year, when Smith heard program coordinator Marianne Bobrowski was retiring, she and Danielle Buttenhoff stepped up to help.
Now, Smith and Buttenhoff are running the program on their own.
Buttenhoff was a Howard Lake princess in 2013-14, and is currently finishing her degree in meeting and event planning. Her career goal is to become a wedding planner.
Buttenhoff said the Howard Lake royalty program helps build a strong resumé, and also provides educational help through scholarships.
“It was a great opportunity for me, and I really learned a lot how to be professional and speak in public,” she said.
The program is also flexible, working around girls’ school schedules.
If someone is considering becoming a candidate this year, Smith said “they won’t regret it.”
Eligible candidates must be between 17 and 20 years old by July 1, 2017. They can either live in Howard Lake, or be a student at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School.
The Howard Lake royalty committee crowns one queen and one or two princesses each year.
Judging is based on five criteria, including acceptance of duties and responsibilities, appearance, communication skills, personality, and poise.
To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royalty since ‘76
The Howard Lake royalty program began in 1976-77. Since there was no royalty in 1977, the program will celebrate its 40th year in 2018.
Below are Howard Lake queens and princesses of the past:
• 1976 Lee Ann Hagian Caristed, Margaret Stoll Marketon
• 1978 Carla Munson Hausladen, Nancy Kottke Anderson
• 1979 Susan Luhman Michael, Lori Birkholz Welle
• 1980 Julie Broll Mader, Louise Adickes Woodberry
• 1981 Patty Hayden Norberg, Kelly Hess Lindland and Carol Diers Davis
• 1982 Brenda Custer Dalbec, Ruth Wackler Young and Debbie Drusch Vialpando
• 1983 Dawn Hauser Keller, Kara Diederich Reiser
• 1984 Wendy Youngren, Karen Hausladen Loomis
• 1985 Pam MIller Overland, Janet Lutter Henjum and Rachelle Lorentz Ebner
• 1986 Carrie Reimer LePage, Carol Sawatzke Tongen and Jill Diers Wrobbel
• 1987 Suzanne Atkinson Erickson, Jennifer Langren Hatrick and Lissa Levang Gatz
• 1988 Connie Schmieg Baumann, Kristi Main and Kari Hauser Hawkins
• 1989 Mindy Montgomery Shulfer, Tammy Waddell Hulett and Lisa Dalbec Fiecke
• 1990 Karen Brabek Lueck, Kim Schmieg Rokala
• 1991 Jennifer Munson Wikoff, Kim Schultz Mester and Debbie Ostvig
• 1992 Jody Diers Schendel, Jammie Berg Hernandez and Marey Montgomery Woolhouse
• 1993 Suzie Schultz Meier, Tracy Laney Strub and Cari Berg Backes
• 1994 Collette Diers Thorson, Jennifer Luhman Christopherson
• 1995 Holly Kleve Gallagher, Lisa Schmieg Erickson and NIcole Glessing Hills
• 1996 Tanya Brose Golka, Lisa Gabbert Ogle and Kristy Mahlstedt Cardinal
• 1997 Julie Ringold Smola, Janet Marketon Demuth Debbie Stoll, and Karen Marketon Swartzer (Miss Congeniality)
• 1998 Sara Fall Elson, Alisha Painschab and Emily Sorsoleil Butryn
• 1999 Kelly Foss Burau, Sallie Fall Bellicot
• 2000 Michele Confeld Zimmerman, Heather Ostvig, and Miranda Painschab Winker
• 2001 Kelly Brose Sonderby, Amy Kozitka, and Kari Mattson Volk
• 2002 Candice Berg Dolan, Belinda Jo Painschab Estrem, and Danielle Stoll
• 2003 Suzie Zander Koosman, Cortney Jensen Berg, and Amber Uecker Gullickson
• 2004 Jenna Jones Kluver, Jacklin Hubbell, and Camie Bernick
• 2005 Maddie Kaye, Morgan Kleve, and Ashlee Bren Weiers
• 2006 Natalie Swanson, Katie Park, and Becky Decker Asfeld
• 2007 Krystal Gatz, Tiffany Drusch, and Brittany Streich
• 2008 Brittney Utne, Jackie Randall, and junior attendant McCall Kleve
• 2009 Ellen Korsbon, Christine Bobrowske
• 2010 Amber Zubrod, Sarah Randall
• 2011 Danielle Lachermeier, Shannon Fall
• 2012 Chelsea Smith, Kaitlyn Peterson, and Ariel Zubrod
• 2013 Benenon Shannon, Danielle Buttenhoff, and Lexie Leukuma
• 2014 Marissa Woolhouse, Katie Utne, and Brooklyn Bangasser
• 2015 Destine Butturf, Lexi Jo McAlpine, and Joslyn Munson
• 2016 (current) Kaitlyn Marschel and Courtney Uecker