Friday, October 31, 2008

Pageant Update in Photos: Including Three Weddings and a Funeral!

Above: After being the first Miss America's Outstanding Teen (back in 2005) Megan Miller has set her sights on Miss America! She won Miss Longview and will now compete at Miss Texas.
I know "everything is bigger in Texas," but good gawd, those flowers are just unnecessary!

Below: Ohio native Laura Pennington won her second title, Miss Hill City, in Virginia where she's a graduate student.

Above: Last week Evelyn Ay Sempier, Miss America 1954, deid. Click here for news articles. I just love the photo above! I wish ball gowns just weren't just for teen contestants now days.

Below: New Photos of National Titleholders

Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza

Miss Teen USA Stevi Perry

Miss America Kirsten Haglund

Miss America's Outstanding Teen Taylor Fitch

Below: Miss Louisiana Teen USA Lindsey Evans was recently dethrowned, only ten days before giving up her title. Click here for articles; in short, aftern dining and dashing, weed was discovered in her purse.

Below: Three Weddings

Former Miss USA Chelsea Cooley was recently wed. Two of her bridesmaids were former Teen USAs Shelley Henning and Ali LaForse (who's from Ohio).

Above: Former Miss Marion Popcorn Mary (Krouse) Garrick.

Below: Bride Jodi (Green) Colby, a former Miss Central Ohio and former Miss Circlevill Heather (Strickland) Torres.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Contestants AND Titleholders: Help Me Help You!

Hey ladies, whether you call it a scholarship pageant or beauty pageant, image is still incredibly important! (That's some of the best advice I got while competing.) I encourage all of you to take control of your pageant image by sending me updated pictures and information.

For some of you, I have lots of headshots and I don't know which you prefer. For others, I don't have an official headshot at all and I use the best Facebook candid I can find! Similarly, some of you list multiple colleges on your profile. I know college majors and platform titles change over the years. If I'm getting it wrong, or you just want to put a preferred, updated foot forward, please email me at

This blog gets a lot of hits - how do you want yourself seen?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Congrats to the New Miss Ohio Valley, Kristen Haas!

[The only picture to surface so far is from former Miss Ohio Valley contestant Aubrey Bodo, seen above with Kristen.]

The complete results are as follows:

Miss Ohio Valley: Kristen Haas

First Runner-Up: Krystle Formosa

Talent: Krystle Formosa
Swimsuit: Kristen Haas

Photogenic: Nicole Fortunato
Smile: Krystle Formosa
Eyes Have It: Audree Porter
Jan Watson Memorial Scholarship: Enza Tsouris

Kristen is the thirteenth and final woman to hold the Miss Ohio Valley title; this is her fourth MAO crown, making her the most experienced of the twelve local contenders headed to Miss Ohio thus far. Kristen is a student at Bowling Green State University (go Falcons!) where she studies Exercise Science and Dance Performance. Similarly she promotes womens health to prevent heart disease as her pageant platform. She's a member of BGSU's Dance Team and the sorority Alpha Phi, where she's "big" to Becky Minger, who she crowned Miss Maumee Valley last year.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Unofficial Results: Miss Ohio Valley

Word on the web...

Miss Ohio Valley: Kristen Haas

1st Runner-up: Krystle Formosa

Talent: Krystle Formosa
Swimsuit: Kristen Haas

Best of Luck to the Miss Ohio Valley Program!

This evening at the Masonic Temple in Steubenville Brandi Herceg will crown the thirteenth and sadly the final Miss Ohio Valley. Brandi is a dancer who attends Franciscan University; although I could have posted a more glamorous picture of her, I love a contestant who has a McCrown shot!

According to The Harold Star, this will be an impressive program with "Kelly Townsend-Rostic, a founder of the pageant; Townsend-Rostic's mother, Jacquelyn Mayer, who was crowned Miss America in 1963; and country vocalist Shannon Woodward. Serving as emcees will be state Sen. Jason Wilson, D-Columbiana; his wife Leah; and Ross Gallabrese, managing editor of the Herald-Star." THIS ARTICLE goes on to say that over the past thirteen years Miss Ohio Valley has given away more than $170,000 in scholarships!

Eight women will vie for Brandi's title; they are:

Alicia Huyghe is a 20 year old dancer. Her platform is "keeping our planet green and going green;" she attends Cleveland State and competes often.

23 year old Ashley Pesta promotes preventive treatment of cancer. She is a dancer and graduate of Duquesne University. Last year at this pageant she won the Swimsuit Award.

Carissa Cook is 23; her platform is Organ Donation and she is also a dancer. She's an Ohio University alum and graduate student at Ashland Theological Seminary. Carissa held the Miss Ohio Valley title and competed at Miss Ohio in 05/06. You may be wondering if she's allowed to compete for the same title again; as I understand it, it's up to each local E.D.

Kristen Haas attends Bowling Green State University. She's a 22 year old dancer who encourages women to prevent heart disease by maintaining lifelong physical fitness. She is looking for her fourth trip to Miss Ohio, having been Miss Chillicothe, Miss Maumee Valley and placing in the Top 10 this year as Miss North Coast.

Nicole Fortunato is 19; her platform is the American Cancer Society. I have limited information about her and no picture, but Facebook says she attends 'CSCC.' Columbus State Community College perhaps?

I know even less about Vincenzina Tsouris; she's no where on the web, which is good considering she's 17! She's a Steubenville resident who, according to the local paper,"hopes to promote dance in education."

Finally, a confirmed singer! Krystle Formosa advocates "Serving Children for a Better Tomorrow." She attends Kent State University. This 22 year old is looking for her second title, having competed at Miss Ohio this past year as Miss South Central Ohio.

Audree Porter, 17, is a Steubenville High School senior. Her platform is Organ Donation. I don't know her talent, but this teeny tiny Facebook picture sure is pretty!

The pageant will begin at 6 p.m. Best of luck to everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Local Pageant News

I am pleased (and permitted) to announce the Miss Maumee Valley / All*American City / Fallen Timbers program has 19 Miss contestants and 9 Teens! Unless a teen flakes out, all 6 crowns will be given!

Does this mean the contestant crisis is over? Let's hope!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Application Deadline: Miss MMV/AAC/FT

Applications are due TOMORROW, Thursday the 23rd, for Miss Maumee Valley / Miss All*American City / Miss Fallen Timbers and respective Teen titles!

As of Monday there were enough contestants to give two Miss and two Teen titles; they needed a few more ladies to give all six.

Top 3 reasons to compete in this pageant:

#1. You'll be eligable for three titles for the time and cost of one!
#2. The performing arts center is gorgeous - NO STAIRS into the building or onto the stage! There's a large, well lite dressing room with wall-to-wall mirrors! The interviews are held on site.
#3. This pageant has an excellent track record - last year's Miss Maumee Valley was First Runner-up to Miss Ohio, Miss Fallen Timbers won a prestigious Interview Award and Miss All*American City a Talent Award.

Facts about multi-crown locals:

* 8 contestants are required for 2 Miss crowns
* 15 contestants are required for 3 Miss crowns
* 3 contestants are required per Teen Crown
* Only a single CMN fee ($100 for Miss) is needed to be eligable for all three titles.

Contact EDs Eric and Linda Wagener at 419.654.6041 or Meet the current titleholders here:

Miss Maumee Valley
Miss All*American City
Miss Fallen Timbers

Monday, October 20, 2008

Congrats to the New Miss Portsmouth, Amber Bussa and New Miss Scioto Valley, Alyssa Hanson!

[Above left to right: Katie Camp and her successor, Miss Portsmouth Amber Bussa, Miss Scioto Valley Alyssa Hanson and outgoing titleholder Megan Wombacker]

Megan Wombacker gave Alyssa Hanson her third Miss Ohio local crown! I believe Alyssa studies Communications at Ohio State University. This soon-to-be-twenty year old is a vocalist who promotes Positive Body Image as her platform. In addition to the title Miss Scioto Valley, Alyssa won the Spirit Award, as voted by the contestants.

Katie Camp crowned Amber Bussa the new Miss Portsmouth; Amber also won the Evening Gown and Swimsuit Awards. This is Amber's first local title. She is a twenty-one year old vocalist and also an OSU student. In fact, ED Greg Davis shared that the two new titleholders discovered they live two blocks from one another in Columbus.

*Note, Talent and Interview Awards were not given.

Teen winners:

[Above on the left: Miss Scioto Valley's Outstanding Teen Savannah Sexton; on the right: Miss Portsmouth's Outstanding Teen Brooklyn Thompson.]

Both Teens are vocalists. Their First Runner-up was Emily Lowe.

More Photos (thanks to Elizabeth Miller and Megan Wombacker):

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Unofficial Results

Word on the web is...

Miss Portsmouth: Amber Bussa
Miss Scioto Valley: Alyssa Hanson

1st RU: Ashley Hartman
2nd RU: Kristen Haas
3rd RU: Ashley Miller

Best of Luck to the Miss Portsmouth / Scioto Valley Scholarship Program Tonight!

At 7:30 in the beautiful Vern Riffe Center for the Arts it's "Ladies Night!" That's the fushia and black colored theme of this years Miss Portsmouth / Scioto Valley pageant. The outgoing titleholders are Meghan Wombacker, who won the impressive $5000 Miss America Community Service Scholarship at Miss Ohio and Katie Camp, a Top 10 Semifinalist and new Miss Miami Valley! Teens Kara Beth Wagner and Kari Boles will also crown successors.

The women vying for their crowns are:

#1. Kristen Haas

Kristen is a dancer from Bowling Green State University (go Falcons!). She is looking for her fourth trip to Miss Ohio, having been Miss Chillicothe, Miss Maumee Valley and placing in the Top 10 this year as Miss North Coast.

#2. Amanda Culp

Mandy is a vocalist from Ohio University. She has competed in a few locals over the past two or three years.

#3. Monica Johnson

Monica is a student at Ohio University. I believe last year at Mansfield she sang, but at a local this season she performed a flag routine.

#4. Alicia Huyghe

Alicia is a tap dancer who attends Cleveland State. She has competed diligently this season and last.

#5. Ashley Miller

This is such a common name that I can not say who it is for sure, but she may be the former Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen.

#6. Danielle Henry

On Facebook she lists both Ohio University and Kent State. She competed last weekend at Miss Clayland.

#7. Alyssa Hanson

Alyssa is a vocalist from Ohio State. She is looking for her third crown, having been Miss Heart of Ohio and Miss Miami Valley.

#8. Ashley Hartman

Ashley is a lyrical dancer who attends The University of Akron. She placed at this and many other pageants last year.

#9. Amber Bussa

Amber is a student at Ohio State; she competed at this pageant last year.

The Outstanding Teen contestants are:

#1. Cassidy Vaughters
#2. Brooklyn Thompson
#3. Ali Shuff
#4. Emilee Lowe *she competed last year
#5. Savannah Sexton
#6. Cara Fry

Best of luck to all! I will be at work tonight, but will try to publish results from my phone if I can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Congrats to the New Miss Clayland, Erica Gelhaus!

Miss Clayland: Erica Gelhaus
First Runner-up: StarKeisha Coleman

Talent: Erica Gelhaus
Interview: Erica Gelhaus
Community Service: Erica Gelhaus

Remaining Contestants: Alicia Huyghe and Danielle Henry

I feel awful that I did not cover this pageant in my usual fashion. I was geographically closer, visiting Ohio this weekend, but therefore mentally preoccupied and I didn't even realize it was taking place until I read the results...

Our reigning Miss Ohio, Karissa Martin, returned to her local pageant to crown the next lucky young lady to work with the "Clayland Crew." [Left, Erica and Karissa with Clayland ED, Martha Campbell. *Insert that noise she makes at pageants here!*] If you're new to pageantry you may be wondering, "Didn't the First Runner-up take over when Karissa won Miss Ohio?" Good question, but no, that doesn't usually happen on the local level. The fact is that local titleholders don't do enough appearances and such for that to be necessary; I also imagine that many Miss Ohio's like the opportunity to give up their local title and say thank you and goodbye in a more intimate setting. And in this case, last year's First Runner-up would have been crowing herself!

The new Miss Clayland, Erica Gelhaus, was Karissa's First Runner-up at this pageant last year. She went on to win Miss Northwestern Ohio and was awarded Second Runner-up at the State pageant. With this title Erica will compete for a third time at Miss Ohio, having placed First Runner-up her first time there as Miss Lake Festival; she also won the National Sweetheart pageant.

The images above are from photographer Christine Walsh-Newton. Thanks!

The following is and article by Cindy Davis from the Times-Reporter; note, one of the judges listed at the end is Amity Ryan. Is that by chance the married name of former contestant Amity Sites?

It was a clean sweep for Erica Gelhaus Saturday night as she was crowned the 2009 Miss Clayland.

Gelhaus, 21, of St. Henry also received awards for Community Service and Best Interview and was the Ray King Talent winner. Her platform is “Turning the Page for Children’s Literacy.” She received scholarships totaling $3,400, including a $500 scholarship from the Tuscarawas Campus of Kent State University. She attends Otterbein College.

“I’m very honored and excited for this upcoming year,” Gelhaus said.

She was last year’s first runner-up in the Miss Clayland pageant and the second runner-up at the 2008 Miss Ohio contest in June.

“It will be great working with the organizers of this pageant.” she said. “They’re phenomenal. I’m also looking forward to going back to Miss Ohio.”

Gelhaus sang the operatic number “Adele’s Laughing Song” for her talent. For her on-stage question, she commented on the effect that negative ads are having during the presidential election. She modeled a hot-pink two-piece suit with black trim for the swimsuit portion of the program. She was crowned by 2008 Miss Clayland and current Miss Ohio Karissa Martin.

First runner-up and the recipient of a $ 500 scholarship was Starkeisha Coleman, 20, of Defiance. Coleman sang “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway musical “Wicked.” Her platform was Teenage Depression: DEAL (Driving Every Adolescent to Live).

The theme for the 53rd annual contest was Cafe Clayland. During the program a cafe served as the backdrop for all activities.

Master of ceremonies was Kenn Holmes. Martin served as mistress of ceremonies and opened the program with the National Anthem.

Martin signed autographs prior to the pageant and said she is anxiously awaiting the Miss America competition on Jan. 24. She recently has been involved in the taping of the reality program “Miss America: Count Down to the Crown.” Both shows will air on TLC.

“I met several little girls with big dreams of their own,” said Martin of the autograph session. “I’m happy to encourage them to strive for whatever they want to do in their lives.”

Two local contestants added excitement to this year’s stage. Danielle Henry, 19, of Stone Creek and Alicia Huyghe, 20, of Uhrichsville made area residents proud as they each performed dance routines, modeled swimwear and evening gowns and answered impromptu questions throughout the competition. Both received a $200 scholarship for participation.

Several volunteers were recognized for their longtime service to the program including Lee Merrill, Julie Cerana, Jon Coventry and Heath Campbell, all 10 years; and Colleen Smith, 20 years.

Judges for the event were Regina Tedrick, Matt Beres, Amity Ryan, Robb Rectanus and Cathy Sciarretti.
Martha Campbell is director of the Miss Clayland Pageant, which is a preliminary of the Miss America Scholarship Program.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Congrats to the new Miss Clayland, Erica Gelhaus!

First Runner-up: Starkiesha Coleman

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pageant Press Release: Miss Portsmouth and Scioto Valley

Miss Portsmouth and
Miss Scioto Valley
Scholarship Program
PO Box 299
South Webster, Ohio 45682


"Southern Ohio Medical Center Presents”:
The Miss Portsmouth & Miss Scioto Valley 2009, along with the Miss Portsmouth Outstanding Teen and Miss Scioto Valley Outstanding Teen Scholarship Program. These four winners are going to be crowned on Saturday October 18, 2008 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The Vern Riffe Center located on the campus of Shawnee State University at 903 Second Street in Portsmouth. Tickets are available at the McKinley Box Office at the price of $ 10.00 each.

This years program is entitled ..."LADIES NIGHT" and our color scheme is Hot Fuchsia Pink and Black!

Also for the third consecutive year, we will be having a silent auction in the lobby the entire day of our pageant. This silent auction will have a Hodge- Podge of items available for purchase, so please be sure to bring your checkbook! All money raised goes into our scholarship fund. Last year’s auction we raised nearly $750.00 for our program and our goal for this year is to raise over $1,000.00. In addition, we will be having a 50-50 drawing and tickets can be purchased all day at $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00.

Once again we will be having a Wee Miss - 0-2 year olds, Tiny Miss 3-5 year olds, Little Miss 6-9 year olds and Junior Miss Programs 10- 12 year olds on Saturday afternoon on the 18th beginning at 1 p.m. in the Vern Riffe Center as another fundraiser for the scholarship fund. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the door for $ 8.00. There will be two titles awarded in each age category with the titles of "Portsmouth and Scioto Valley"

Hope to see all who can attend this year’s program and support the winning tradition of the Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley Scholarship Program!

This year’s program promises to be a GREAT ONE so come and enjoy an evening of elegance and entertainment.

Warmest Regards,

Greg Davis
Executive Director
Miss Portsmouth / Miss Scioto Valley Scholarship Program
Miss Portsmouth / Miss Scioto Valley Outstanding Teen
Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Miss North East Ohio - Unofficial Results!

Word on the web is that Kylie Johnson won the title and Ashley Warholic was First Runner-up!

"Who is Kylie Johnson?" some ask. She won the Miss Southeastern Ohio pageant in December of 2007 [seen on left], thus qualifying to compete at Miss Ohio International 2008. I don't know what she did tonight at Miss NEO, but at Miss SEO she played the violin and her platform was environmental conservation and the performing arts.

Best of Luck to the Miss North East Ohio Program!

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the North Canton Civic Center a pageant will take place and culminate with the crowning of a new Miss North East Ohio! The new Miss Lake Erie Jenna Wilson [on the right posing with the Miss Ohio crown] is the outgoing Miss and the pageant is rumored to have a decent amount of contestants, possibly including Kristen Haas. After some sleuthing around Facebook I can confirm that Ashley Warholic, Alicia Huyghe and Brandi Herceg are competing.

Best of luck to everyone!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Even More LA Photos

Dear Friends,

We were so excited to kick off a wonderful week of taping with TLC for our new reality series "Miss America: Countdown to the Crown” and would like to share with you a glimpse of our beautiful contestants in California taking in the sights.

We hope that you enjoy this slideshow.

Contestant Slideshow


Art McMaster