Portland High School senior voted Winterfest Queen

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PORTLAND, Mich. (WLNS) – There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being nominated to be on the Winterfest Court…and for Portland High School senior Shelby Hoppes, the feeling is indescribable.

“I am so excited to go to the dance tonight,” said Shelby Hoppes.

19 year-old Shelby lives each day with a smile and even though she’s lived with autism her entire life, she doesn’t let that bring her down.

“She’s the sunshine here I swear,” Classmate Emily Smith giggled.

Smith says Shelby is truly a beautiful soul.

“She makes my day…I promise you that whenever you’re having a bad day if you talk to Shelby she will make you smile,” Smith stated.

Each person Shelby meets says they are touched by her charm and charisma to embrace life.

“She supports her friends, her classmates and she is just a great young woman,” said Kyle Newton whose son is in Shelby’s senior class.

And for Karen Hoppes, Shelby’s mom…she says it hasn’t always been easy for Shelby…but seeing her little girl strut her stuff in front of dozens of people brings pure happiness to her heart.

“We’re just so overwhelmed that everybody sees what we do see,” said Karen.

Karen says if she had one message to share, it would be to have an open heart and for Shelby…that comes easy.

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