Every year at this time, the Chicopee St. Patrick's Parade Committee plans an event which has become a highpoint in the city's winter calendar. The annual Colleen Coronation Ball, which this year takes place on March 5, features dozens of local young women who vie for the title of Colleen or a member of her Court. The resumes of these contestants over the years have been inspiring. The young ladies are solid academic students with extracurricular involvement in sports and clubs; many work part-time jobs and internships, volunteer or perform community service, and have impressive career plans beyond high school. They have the confidence to speak about these accomplishments to a panel of judges, and to appear before their family, friends and community on stage the evening of the ball.
To see these young ladies and to hear their achievements, one cannot help but be proud of the generation to whom we entrust our future.
The annual Colleen Contest is open to all unmarried young ladies who are residents of Chicopee, 17 to 20 years of age, inclusively. Irish ancestry is not a requirement. They must complete an application form available at any of the city's high schools or Elms College, the Chamber of Commerce, or on the Parade Committee's Web site at www.chicopeespc.org.
All applications must be postmarked by Feb. 12, 2011. Contestants are also eligible to compete for scholarships, which are awarded by the Committee in late Spring. Last year, seven contestants received scholarships to help finance their college education.
We encourage all eligible young women to consider participating in this year's Colleen Contest. To those who do, we applaud you and thank you for the contributions you have made to your community. We look forward to meeting you on March 5.
Thomas A. Conroy
Chicopee St. Patrick's Parade Committee