Miss PA visits Lititz

By on December 13, 2017

“My favorite place in Lititz is Wilbur Chocolate, of course,” said Schreckengast. “I love chocolate.”

Snow arrived in Lititz on Saturday, and so did Miss Pennsylvania.

While snowflakes sparkled in downtown Lititz, Katie Schreckengast of Palmyra visited several locations in town, wearing her glittering crown, a snow white blouse, and a bright smile.

Growing up in Lebanon County, the 2017 Miss Pennsylvania is no stranger to Lititz. She used to visit quite often as a child.

“My favorite place in Lititz is Wilbur Chocolate, of course,” said Schreckengast. “I love chocolate.”

That might be the reason she looked so happy, as she made the Wilbur Factory store her first stop on her Lititz visit. Surrounded by Wilbur Buds, hot cocoa, chocolate candies, and cheerful children, Miss Pennsylvania was in her element.

“Look, it’s a real princess,” said one little girl.

Schreckengast definitely looked like a fairy tale princess. She greeted children and signed autographs. Her mother, Lori Schreckengast, and aunt, Linda Byers, joined her as she welcomed shoppers to Wilbur.

Schreckengast won her title as Miss Pennsylvania in June, later placing in the top 10 of the Miss America pageant. The 21-year-old is a Penn State student, taking the semester off as she fulfills her duties as Miss Pennsylvania. When she heads back to Penn State, she will continue working toward her degree in broadcast journalism.

Miss PA Katie Schreckengast (center) was joined by her aunt, Linda Byers (left), and mom, Lori Schreckengast. The trio welcomed visitors to Wilbur Chocolate on Saturday afternoon.

As Miss Pennsylvania, she has a platform that is very close to her heart. It’s Building Families through Adoption. She knows all about how important adoption can be. She was adopted from South Korea when she was just six months old.

She laughs to recount all the times people have been surprised when they meet Katie Schreckengast for the first time.

“I have gone to job interviews and they look at me and say, ‘You’re Katie Schreckengast?’” she said. “I think they are expecting blonde braids and someone wearing lederhosen. I don’t think I look like a Katie Schreckengast.”

Schreckengast decided on her platform last summer when she wrote a blog post describing her feelings about her adoption story. After posting it, people from all across the country began sharing their stories with her. She realized that adoption isn’t talked about as openly as it should be and she had the perfect opportunity to share her story and the stories of other adoptive families.

Her mother couldn’t be prouder. She enjoyed joining her daughter on her tour of Lititz on Saturday, as snow fell steadily. After Wilbur Chocolate factory, Schreckengast was on to Olio Olive Oils and Balsamics, where she signed autographs and played the saxophone. Then she visited Purple Robin Reserve for more autographs and more saxophone playing. After that, she spoke to students at Linden Hall, sharing her story.

Katie Schreckengast played an alto saxophone that belonged to her father as her talent in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. She is also a member of the saxophone section in the Penn State Marching Blue Band.

It was her chance to demonstrate her musical talent that earned her top honors in both the Miss Pennsylvania and Miss America competitions. She is a member of the saxophone section in the Penn State Marching Blue Band, spending many weekends leading the band out of the tunnel to cheering crowds.

That’s her father Randy Schreckengast’s alto saxophone, and she attributes her love of music to him. Even though she may not have been born in Lebanon County, she feels that she is very much part of her Palmyra family.

“Whenever I talk about my own adoption story I always have people come up to me to tell me their story,” said Schreckengast.

Sure enough, a little girl also named Katie was thrilled to me her role model. She too was adopted as a baby and posed for pictures with Miss Pennsylvania at Wilbur.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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