Thursday, December 7, 2006

Pending Pageant Press: Three Local Students to Represent Maumee at Miss Ohio Scholarship Pageant

I was asked to write an article about the recent Maumee triple crown pageant for the local paper, The Maumee Mirror. They don't have the resources to put all their stories on their website and as I don't get the paper, I won't know when or how much of it will run... but here it is... Note that the last paragraph already announces next years pageant date!


On Saturday evening, November 4, the Maumee High School Performing Arts Center was abuzz with anticipation as fourteen Miss Contestants and four Teens competed for the opportunities to go to Miss Ohio and maybe even become Miss America! The Miss America Scholarship program is a not-for-profit organization which provides over $40 million dollars in scholarship assistance to young women annually. The giving begins at the local level; for the past four years volunteer directors, Eric and Linda Wagener have held the Miss Maumee Valley pageant. This year the Wagener’s became the first local director in Ohio to award not one, but two Miss crowns, while simultaneously holding a Teen pageant.

The Teen and Miss contestants competed onstage together, but were evaluated by two separate judging panels. All the women competed in Evening Gown, Onstage Question and Talent competitions, in addition to a twelve minute private interview which took place prior to the pageant. Only the Miss contestants were evaluated in a Swimsuit competition, while the Teens exclusively modeled Sportswear and Casual Wear.

Eligible women from across the Buckeye State competed, but in the end, all three crowns were awarded to local students.

Kellie Kulka, a junior at Notre Dame Academy, was crowned Miss Maumee Valley’s Outstanding Teen. She will now compete on June 15, 2007 in Mansfield Ohio for the title Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen; the winner of that pageant will go on to the national competition in Orlando Florida. For her talent, Kulka performed a jazz dance to the oldies favorite, “My Boyfriend’s Back.” The reigning Miss Ohio, Melanie Murphy was in attendance as an entertainer; she also did the honor of crowning Kulka. Murphy will represent Ohio in Las Vegas at the Miss America pageant, which will air on the Country Music Network on January 29, 2007.

Out of a field of fourteen Miss contestants, two Bowling Green State University students won the titles Miss All American City and Miss Maumee Valley.

In honor of Maumee’s recent accomplishment, a brand new title, Miss All American City was established. Lauren Hogan received this crown as well as a $1,000 scholarship. She is a BGSU senior majoring in Interpersonal Communications. For the talent competition, which is worth thirty-five percent of the overall score, Hogan sang “I Could Have Danced All Night” from the musical My Fair Lady. In the Miss America system, contestants must advocate a community service platform; Hogan’s is “Risky Business: Preventing High Risk Behavior in Today’s Youth.”

For a fourth year a Miss Maumee Valley was crowned. Kristen Haas received this honor and a $1,000 scholarship. She is a Dance Performance major at BGSU; for her talent she performed a jazz routine to the upbeat Whitney Houston hit “Dance With Somebody.” Haas also won the Outstanding Interview award. The twelve minute private interview comprises twenty-five percent of the contestants score. During the interview Haas discussed her social platform issue, Preventing Heart Disease in Women, as well as current events and social issues.

Hogan and Haas will both compete for the title Miss Ohio at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield Ohio June 12 to 16, 2007. They will stay in Mansfield for over a week participating in rehearsals, festivals, a parade, public appearances, three nights of preliminary competition and a crowning finale. All of the past three Miss Maumee Valleys have placed in the Top 10 at Miss Ohio.

Outgoing Miss Maumee Valley, Abby Bollenbacher was on hand to crown both Haas and Hogan. Like both of the women she crowned, Bollenbacher attended Bowling Green State University, and now uses her Theatre degree and pageant experiences in her work as the Face of FOX Toledo. She also entertained and emceed the pageant with the inaugural Miss Maumee Valley, Jeanna Jones. The “Deal of No Deal” themed show included cameo appearances by Howie Mandel, played by Loren Anderson.

While Kulka, Hogan and Haas prepare for their state competitions, planning is already underway for next year’s pageant. It will again be held at the Maumee Valley High School Performing Arts Center on the afternoon of Sunday November 4, 2007. If you are interested in donating to, or competing in this wonderful program, contact Eric and Linda Wagener by logging on to

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