SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The 63rd Apple Blossom Cotillion held two gleeful evenings, Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4. The event featured songs from the show Glee, which premiered 10 years ago, May 19, 2009.
For the 19th year, Master of Ceremonies Larry Kraft welcomed the audience to this gracious event, a fundraiser for the Springfield Hospital and Springfield Medical Care Systems. He also took a moment to introduce Josh Dufresne, acting chief executive officer, to formally thank the audience, participants, and volunteers for bringing the special evening together. “As you know, the hospital is having some financial difficulties,” Dufresne said, “and all of you here this evening is a direct support back to the hospital.”
The cotillion is the perfect opportunity for the participating young ladies “to be introduced to the community as adults,” Kraft announced. Contestants are judged on their poise, appearance, presentation, and performance during the cotillion, which is two thirds of their score. The other third is based on an interview session with the judges held Saturday morning, which evaluated their poise and appearance, conversational ability, and overall personality. This year, there were 12 lovely contestants, their escorts, and 21 future cotillionaires and young escorts.
Sixty-three years ago, Apple Blossom contestants were presented “on the arm of a fine businessman,” stated Kraft. Over the years, contestants have been able to choose their own escorts, as do the future cotillionaires.
Contestants and their escorts shared many dances together to songs like “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Some Nights.” Contestants and escorts both had their own time to shine by themselves; ladies danced to “Let It Be” and “Flashdance,” while the gentlemen danced to “Juke Box Hero” and “Safety Dance.” Contestants danced with the elementary girls to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” and the escorts danced with the elementary boys to “Drive My Car.” All of the participants shared a finale dance to “Lean on Me.”
The ladies showed off their simple, yet graceful dances, focusing on their poise, elegance, and overall appearance. Their escorts complimented them well with fun and playful performances, drawing many laughs out of the audience with more provoking dance moves. The young future cotillionaires and their escorts were a wonderful counterpart to the high school students’ dance performances, adding their own dance moves that got the crowds cheering. This year, participants not only danced to the music, but also sang along to the lyrics.
The evening drew to an end after the judges collaborated. Judges Marilee Spanjian, Cindy Putorti, Fritz Wendlandt, Jennifer Wendlandt, and Elizabeth Howland Schwenk were introduced, and the 2018 queen and her court were brought to the floor to deliver prizes to the evening winners.
A big round of applause went to the Director’s Choice awards AJ Aldrich and Cierra Howe, Mr. Congeniality Austin Rowe, Miss Congeniality Mykahla Jasinski, and the court members Meghan Power escorted by AJ Aldrich, Paige Congdon escorted by Kody Politza, Mykahla Jasinski escorted by Adam Stokarski, and Cierra Howe escorted by Anthony Thibodeau.
And a huge congratulation goes to the 63rd Apple Blossom Queen, Hannah Crosby, escorted by Hayden Morancy. A gleeful performance by all.