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Posted: 08/28/13


Above is 2013 Peach Queen Sarah Phillips with her parents, Martha and Gary. Below, Phillips checks out some of the peaches ready for purchase at Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill in Armada.

(Observer photos by Chris Gray)

2013 Peach Queen
encourages kindness

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Sarah Phillips is an example of how the kindliness of others can inspire people to chase and achieve their dreams.
       Ever since Phillips was crowned as the 2013 Peach Queen, she has used her role to extend the kindness she experienced from former Peach Queens to better the days of those around her.
       Phillips, 20, is the daughter of Gary and Martha and youngest of three children. She is a 2011 graduate from Romeo Community Schools and moved to the area when she was 10 years old.
       Since her crowning in May, Phillips said she has enjoyed everything from meeting people and queens from other towns to participating in different parades.
       "It's kind of been like a dream come true," she said. "It's been more than I could've hoped for."
       Phillips said her siblings, Christine and Michael, along with the rest of her family have been a driving force in her becoming queen. Even before moving to the Romeo area, Phillips and her family attended the Peach Festival. It was during these festivals that Phillips was inspired by the grace and regal air the queens portrayed.
       "You want to be like them when you grow up," she said. "You want to be kind and pretty and somebody to look up to."
       With this in mind, she said her main goal has been to interact with people and families, especially when it comes to putting a smile on a child's face.
       "It's nice to make some little person's day when you're out and about and they just run up to meet you," she said. "You leave a lasting impact, hopefully."
       She said she enjoys giving back as the Peach Queen as well. For instance, Phillips has volunteered at the Samaritan House during the summer, and organized a bone marrow donor drive that signed up 20 people on the bone marrow registry.
       She said volunteering is just one aspect of what a Peach Queen should be, which is to be a good role model.
       "I would say definitely be kind to everyone, you never know what someone's day has been like or where they are at right now in their life," she said. "That is something I hope I can convey as I'm meeting people and interacting with them."
       Aside from her queenly duties, Phillips is in her junior year at Central Michigan University. She is in the honors program and is majoring in biomedical science in preparation for medical school.
       She said her love of science and the human body, combined with a desire to make a positive impact on people, helped her choose her field of study.
       "In medicine that is easier to get because they come to you when they're not in a happy place, so you can get them back to that," she said.
       She is taking her medical college admission this spring and hopes to become a pediatrician, but is keeping her career options open.
       "I haven't had any other experiences in many other specialties," she said.
       Her volunteerism extends into her education as well. Phillips assists at senior hospice nursing centers, blood drives and research labs as well as belonging to the American Red Cross Club and Pre-Medicine and Osteopathic Society.
       In her spare time, she said she enjoys sewing, reading and playing with the family's new beagle-sheltie puppy, Macy.
       For the Peach Festival itself, Phillips said she is looking forward to the farmer's breakfast as well as seeing people during the Mummer's Parade and Floral Parade. She said the view from the Peach Queen float has been breathtaking.
       "You're up really high for one, so that's a little bit scary, but it's like `this is really me up here,'" she said. "You're always sitting down on the sides of the parade watching and waving, and I always said I would be up there. It's a real cool feeling."
       Phillips shares the float with Peach Queen Runner-up Lisa Stewart. Stewart, 24, is the daughter of Paul and Lori of Richmond. She is working toward a master's degree at Oakland University to be a physician's assistant specializing in pediatrics.
       Phillips said she has developed a strong relationship with Stewart, especially since they are both in the health field.
       "Lisa is awesome," she said. "I'm definitely glad that I got to know her."
       With the festival just around the corner, Phillips said she is glad to carry on the traditions and be a part of something that involves the entire community instead of a couple of groups.
       "It's so cool to me that we have something that we all share," she said. "Peach Fest is a Romeo thing that everyone in Romeo is really supportive of."
      


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