SPRINGFIELD - A field of 15 colleen hopefuls was whittled down to five finalists on Saturday night at the John Boyle O'Reilly Club. Approximately 250 guests attended the preliminary 2018 Springfield Colleen Contest, hosted by the Springfield St. Patrick's Parade Committee. Contestants competing this year came from areas including Springfield, Wilbraham, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Belchertown, Granby and Palmer.
The young women were interviewed by a panel of judges, consisting of Margaret Boyle, Elizabeth Shenoy and Patricia Burns, with the five finalists picked to represent the Springfield Colleen Court. The finalists were Anna MacDonnell, 18, of Longmeadow; Emily Ann Roux, 17, of East Longmeadow; Kathryn Laughlin, 17, of East Longmeadow; Nichole McCarthy, 17, of Springfield; and Allison Stevens, 17, of East Longmeadow.
Annie Keinath, mistress of ceremonies for the evening, introduced each of the 15 colleen hopefuls and spoke to each briefly at the podium. The other competitors on Saturday night were Keira Gay, 17, of Ludlow; Emily Jackson, 21, of Springfield; Emily Ireland, 17, of Longmeadow; Bridget Arnesen, 18, of East Longmeadow; Brionna Beaudry, 21, of Belchertown; Caitlin Normoyle, 17, of Springfield; Brittany North, 19, of Palmer; Natalie Anne Richards, 21, of Granby; Michaela Ryan, 18, of Longmeadow; and Abigail Garvey, 18, of East Longmeadow.
At a Coronation Ball, to be held on Feb. 10 at Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place, one of the finalists will be crowned Springfield Colleen. The Springfield Colleen and her Court will ride atop a themed float in the Holyoke St. Patrick's parade and attend several events, parties and fundraisers throughout the year. All members of the court receive a genuine Irish wool sweater, scarf, sash, jewelry and more. In addition, the colleen receives a tiara and a free trip to Ireland. Each of the five colleen finalists will be eligible to apply for the Mossie and Kathleen Murphy Scholarship.
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