Courtney Heeren Is Crowned 2013 Michigan Apple Queen.
She will serve a year as an ambassador at schools, parades, festivals, grocery store events and more.
Courtney Heeren of Grand Rapids has been crowned the 2013 Michigan Apple Queen, while Kate Sage of Eau Claire is First Runner-Up.
Heeren, 20, is the daughter of Dan and Jill Heeren and is a student at Central Michigan University studying special education.
Heeren's father is employed by Heeren Brothers, a Grand Rapids-based company that is the largest family owned wholesaler, marketer and distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables in Michigan, with apples being the largest share of its business.
"It is a special honor for these young ladies to be selected to represent the Michigan Apple industry," says Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. "Courtney will serve all year as an ambassador at schools, parades, festivals, grocery store events and more."
Heeren will spend the next year attending different events and festivals as the face of the Michigan Apple industry. She will also travel to schools throughout Michigan teaching students about apples.
Sage, 19, is the daughter of Grant and Lynne Sage and her grandparents, the Teichmans, are apple growers from Clare.
She is a student at Southwestern Michigan College where she is working toward an associate degree in science.
The Dec. 5 contest was conducted at the 10th annual Michigan Apple Committee grower luncheon. It marks the 62nd year of the competition that awards an apple representative based on poise, beauty, apple knowledge and public speaking ability.
Queen contestants must be between 17 and 23 years of age and have a link to the Michigan Apple industry. The Michigan Apple Committee sponsors the annual event. The winners receive a modest scholarship.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.