News Releases

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Isakson Staffer Jenna Stafford Named Georgia's 2005 Cherry Blossom Princess  

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) today announced that Jennifer "Jenna" Sheffield Stafford will serve as Georgia's 2005 Cherry Blossom Princess. Stafford will represent Georgia in the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., which runs from March 26 to April 10.

"I'm extremely honored to represent Georgia in the National Cherry Blossom Festival," Stafford said. "Through this opportunity, I hope to enhance my knowledge of Japanese culture and of this time-honored tradition, and I plan to share my experiences with friends and fellow Georgians."

Stafford is the daughter of Connell and Shay Stafford of Atlanta. She graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2003 with dual degrees in political science and sociology.

Following graduation, Stafford worked as a staff assistant in then-U.S. Rep. Isakson's Atlanta office before moving to the finance staff of Isakson's campaign for U.S. Senate. She moved to Washington in January 2005 to work as a constituent services representative in Isakson's Senate office.

Stafford will be presented at the traditional Georgia State Society dinner on April 2 along with the 2005 Georgia State Society Cherry Blossom Dinner Court. The Court is comprised of children ages 3 to 18 from families in the Georgia State Society. On April 6, Isakson will escort Stafford to a reception with the Japanese Ambassador on Capitol Hill.

Stafford was chosen as Georgia's Princess by the Georgia State Society Cherry Blossom Dinner Committee. A queen is chosen at random from all participating state society princesses. The queen spends a week in Japan as a United States delegate in various events celebrating the famous blossoms and the friendly relationship between the U.S. and Japan.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift to the city of Washington of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. The gift was designed to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations. Today more than 700,000 people visit Washington each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees in the nation's capital and celebrate the close and special Japanese-United States friendship.

To learn more about the National Cherry Blossom Festival, please visit To learn more about the Georgia State Society, please visit