The West Virginia State Society and the National Conference of State Societies announced West Virginia University graduate Linsey Godbey, of Dunbar, has been selected to represent the state as a Cherry Blossom Princess during the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in the District of Columbia March 31-April 15.

The festival commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, D.C., in 1912 and serves as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan.

This years celebration marks the 95th anniversary of the festival and the 59thanniversary of the Cherry Blossom Princess programan honor that highlights young women based on their leadership, academic achievements, and their interests in community and international affairs.

As part of the program, Godbey and the princesses representing other states and countries will participate in leadership, cultural and educational activities that nurture cultural exchanges and the development of international relationships.

This is a very special honor and I am so excited to represent West Virginia,said Godbey, an assistant account executive in a public relations firm.I hope to use this experience to positively impact the perception of my state, as well as to learn as much as I can from the other women.

Godbey is a 2005 graduate of WVU with a bachelors degree in journalism and minors in Spanish and English. She stays active in the WVU Alumni Association by contributing content to the local clubs Web site and attending social events.

Godbey is the daughter of David Godbey and Robin Godbey Nicholson.

Near the conclusion of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, one of the princesses will be selected as the United States Cherry Blossom Queen during the Grand Ball April 13 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS), the Cherry Blossom Princeess program boasts over 2,500 participants since 1948including W.Va. Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.

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