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Holyoke’s 64th Annual Colleen Contest

On Saturday January 6th, Holyoke's 2018 colleen finalists and Miss Congeniality were chosen at the 64th annual colleen pageant.

Holyoke+2018+Miss+Congeniality+and+colleen+finalists%3A+Brenna+Fogarty%2C+Bridget+Higgins%2C+Carly+Costello%2C+Kassidy+Lawrence%2C+Madelynne+Kelleher%2C+and+Erin+Hebert.
Holyoke 2018 Miss Congeniality and colleen finalists: Brenna Fogarty, Bridget Higgins, Carly Costello, Kassidy Lawrence, Madelynne Kelleher, and Erin Hebert.

Holyoke 2018 Miss Congeniality and colleen finalists: Brenna Fogarty, Bridget Higgins, Carly Costello, Kassidy Lawrence, Madelynne Kelleher, and Erin Hebert.

Holyoke 2018 Miss Congeniality and colleen finalists: Brenna Fogarty, Bridget Higgins, Carly Costello, Kassidy Lawrence, Madelynne Kelleher, and Erin Hebert.

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On Saturday January 6th, Holyoke said farewell to their 2017 colleens and said hello to a new group of six proud Irish women chosen to represent their city as the 2018 Holyoke Colleens. Sixteen women from both Holyoke and South Hadley competed in the colleen pageant this past Saturday and were escorted onto the stage by Holyoke’s firefighters. Of the sixteen contestants of ages ranging from 17 to 22, six were selected; Carly Costello, Kassidy Lawrence, Bridget Higgins, Erin Hebert, Madelynne Kelleher, and Brenna Fogarty.

Miss Congeniality Brenna Fogarty is a graduate of South Hadley High School and is currently a student at Springfield College. She was awarded the Abigail Adams Award, Soccer Coaches Award, and she played basketball in high school. In college, she was awarded the Presidential Achievers Award and she works in humanics. In the future, she plans on attending graduate school to persue a career as a nurse practitioner.

Carly Costello is a graduate of Holyoke High School and is currently a student at Wheaton College. In high school, she was awarded with four years of athletic awards and she was Vice President of the class of 2014. In college, she is the captain of the women’s soccer team. She is very involved in her community as a homework house volunteer and she works at the Boys and Girls Club. In the future, she wants to create her own business to support her family and give back to the community.

Kassidy Lawrence is a senior at Holyoke High School and she volunteers at homework house. She played varsity field hockey, was captain of the field hockey team for two years, and is a member of The Herald. In the future, she will be attending Mount Holyoke College as engineering major.

Bridget Higgins is a graduate of Holyoke High School and is currently a student at Westfield State University. She played four years of field hockey and was in the band in high school. In college, she is the sports editor of the Westfield Voice. In the future, she plans on moving to the city to persue a career in professional writing and go to graduate school to get a degree in political science.

Erin Hebert is a graduate of Holyoke High School and is currently a student at Yale University. She was apart of theater productions in high school and has continued that extracurricular activity through her participation in college productions. She is a volunteer Irish dance teacher and is a member of the figure skating club. In the future, she has accepted a position as a hardwhere development engineer at IBM.

Madelynne Kelleher is a graduate of South Hadley High School and is currently a student at Springfield College. She is a volleyball coach at South Hadley High and she has been member, volunteer, and staff member at the YMCA since she was ten. In the future, she will graduate college in 2018 and receive a bachelors degree in psychology. She has joined the air force reserves and she will have the ability to go back to school to achieve her masters degree in mental health counseling.

The five finalists and Miss Congeniality were filled with pride as their names were called on stage. They were awarded with Irish themed gifts and gift cards to businesses in Holyoke. In the coming weeks, the grand Colleen will be chosen and awarded a trip for two to Ireland, a $500 scholarship, and every girls dream; the crown.

Every year, the Colleen Pageant not only marks the start of a new journey, but also the end of a reign. At the contest, the 2017 Grand Colleen Maggie Walsh and her court had to put their journey behind them and welcome the new court members.

“It’s crazy to think that just a year ago the five of us were among ten incredible young women trying our very best and trying to calm each other down,” said Grand Colleen Maggie Walsh during her speech. “I simply can’t put into words how incredible of a year the girls and I had. Thank you for keeping this an on going tradition and for keeping our Irish heritage something to be very proud of.”

The excitement is just beginning for the 2018 finalists. On February 17th, the Grand Colleen will be chosen at the coronation ball held at the Log Cabin. The city of Holyoke and town of South Hadley are extremely proud of all of the contestants, so hold on to your tartan because it’s going to be an adventurous year.

Check out our photo gallery of the event below!

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