Saturday, October 31, 2009

Congrats to the Newest Titleholders

It's confirmed! The results are:

Miss Maumee Valley: Kristy Moneysmith
Miss Fallen Timbers: Courtney Monk
Miss All*American City: Becky Minger

1st RU: Emily Pheils
2nd RU: Whitney Fricke

Interview: Becky Minger
Talent: Becky Minger

Friday, October 30, 2009

Best of Luck to the Miss Maumee Valley, All*American City and Fallen Timbers Program!

The lovely 08 - 09 titleholders were,
from left to right in the photo above:

Katie Bowen, Miss All*American City, a Science major at Ohio Northern. Katie plays the flute and has already secured her second local crown; she'll return to Miss Ohio as Miss West Central Ohio.

Shannon O'Neill, Miss Maumee Valley, is once again Katie's sister titleholder, having been crowned Miss Lima Square Fair the same night! Shannon was a Top 10 state finalist as Miss MV and in the Top 11 in 08 at Miss WCO. She is a vocalist who studies Communications at Fordham University.

Becky Minger, Miss Fallen Timbers, will not be giving up her title. Rather, she is competing to be Miss All*American City, having already been the First Runner-up to Miss Ohio as both Miss MV and FT. See her info below with the other contestants.

Miss Contestants:

Nicole Iezzi-Blessing

Education: Wright State / Pre-Med & Psychology
Talent: classical vocal
Platform: American's with Disabilities
Pageant Past: Recently 1st RU at Portsmouth; Ohio Junior Miss runner-up.

Sherry El Sakr

Education: Graduate of Cleveland State University / Biology
Talent: Piano
Platform: Heart 101: Promoting Heart Healthy Lifestyles in Our
Pageant Past: Recently 2nd RU at Clayland.

Ashley Rae Bowman

Education: Kent State University / Political Science
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Celebrate the Character in You
Pageant Past: Competed recently at Portsmouth and Clayland.

Haripriya 'Priya' Sharma

Education: Cleveland State / Pre-Med?
Pageant Past:

Christina Muha

University of Toledo
Pageant Past:
Competed in a few locals.

Brandi Herceg

Education: Franciscan University / Early Childhood Education
Talent: Dance or vocal
Platform: Healthy Hearts are Happy Hearts
Pageant Past: Competed at Miss Ohio in '08 as Miss Ohio Valley.

Marisa Buchheit

Education: Cleveland Institute of Music / Vocal Performance
Talent: vocal
Pageant Past:
Nonfinalist Talent award at Miss Illinios '09 as West Cook County and finalist at Miss Illinois Teen USA and Illinois Junior Miss.

Maria Minnick

Education: University of Toledo
Talent: Dance
Platform: Getting Youth Involved within the 4-H
Pageant Past:
Third year local contestant.

Melissa Stevens

Education: Owens College / Music & Spanish
Pageant Past:
Possibly competed in Miss Portsmouth/SV in n'07

Kristen Piasecki

Education: Baldwin-Wallace / Education
Pageant Past: Recently competed in Miss Portsmouth; reigning Miss Teen Cleveland '09 (part of Cities of America National Pageant).

Whitney Fricke

Education: Saint Mary's College / Theatre & Communication
Talent: vocal
Platform: Loving yourself
from the inside out: educating young girls on true beauty
Pageant Past: Competed at Miss Ohio '09 as Cuyahoga County.

Emily Pheils

Education: Bowling Green/Pop Culture & Marketing
Talent: vocal
Platform: Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
Pageant Past: Competed at Miss Ohio '09 as Bay Village.

Jessica Nelson

Education: University of Toledo / Veterinary & Biology
Talent: vocal
Platform: Promoting Pet Health and Safety
Pageant Past: Second year local competitor.

Courtney Monk

Education: Anderson University/ Music Education
Talent: vocal
Platform: Importance of Music in Education
Pageant Past: Recent 3rd RU to West Central Ohio and 2nd RU at GC/CC. Competed at Miss Ohio '09 as Buckeye State.

Katie Ulrich

Education: Rhodes State
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Financial Education for Young Adults
Pageant Past: 2nd RU at Miss West Central Ohio '09.

Becky Minger

Education: Bowling Green/Communications
Talent: vocal
Platform: Building self-esteem through Discovering Y.O.U.
Pageant Past: 1st RU to Miss Ohio in '06 as Greater Dayton, competed in '07 as Northwestern Ohio, 1st RU in '08 as Maumee Valley, 1st RU & SS winner in '09 as Fallen Timbers. Top 10 at National Sweetheart in '08 and '09.

Kristy Moneysmith

Education: Ball State University / Speech pathology & Audiology
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Mentoring Through Leadership and Role Modeling
Pageant Past: 1st RU recently at Lima Square Fair and Clayland. She has competed at Miss Ohio as Mohican Valley 2009 and Chillicothe 2008.

Teen Contestants:

The 08 - 09 Teens were, left to right: All*American City's Teen, Sophie Carter; Fallen Timbers Teen, Sarah Eash and Maumee Valley's Teen, Emily Werling.

Emily, a vocalist and breast cancer awareness advocate, was recently crowned Miss Scioto Valley's Teen. Sarah and Sophie will compete to swap titles.

Bethany McQuillan

No information found.

Chelsi Howman

Education: Crestview High School
Talent: Dance
Platform: Stop Bullying Now
Pageant Past: Competed at both MOOT and Ohio Teen USA

Kristin Fennig

No information available.

Sarah Eash

Talent: Dance
Platform: Get Up! Get Involved! Give Back to your Community!
Pageant Past: Competed at MOOT 2009 as Fallen Timbers Teen

Sophie Carter

Education: Perrysburg High School
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Cancer Awareness
Pageant Past: 1st RU to Ohio's OT in 2009 as All*American City's Teen

Mackenzie Denner*

Education: Emanuel Christian High School
Talent: Piano
Platform: Feed Your Neighbor: Local Hunger
Pageant Past: 4th RU to Monroe County's 2009 Teen

* A google search found several athletic records for a Mackenzie Denner at Emanuel Christian in Toledo, as well as placement in Michigan's Monroe County pageant. It's possible there are two girls with the same name, but given the fact Toledo and her hometown of Temperance, Michigan are merely five miles apart, I'm betting she crosses the boarder to go to school thus, has the benefit of competing in both states!


As always, comment or email with updates and corrections. Best of luck to everyone! Please text me or comment with the results asap! Finally, huge thanks to Wageners for trusting me with their contestant list and giving me time to prepare this blog entry; I hope other EDs will do the same in the future!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I can't begin to image how frustrating and time consuming it must be to moderate a pageant message board. On the rare occasions I post something controversial here, it can be difficult deciding if I should publish some of your comments! Message board moderators have decided to take on that responsibility 24/7! It's a very blurry line between constructive criticism and bashing and between opinion and slander. It's as subjective as a pageant! Intent is lost in the text and anonymity breeds cruelty; wit to one person is damaging to the next. It really is a fascinating study of how quickly communication can regress...! Anyway, I am usually very sympathetic to the moderators of pageant message boards. Usually.

However, yesterday something happened to me that I find so hilarious and obserd, that I'm going to share it! :)

On a popular Miss America chat site known as the Guru Board someone asked if a woman should be allowed to compete if she has a criminal record. Some people immediately said no, other more reasonable individuals noted the difference between misdemeanors and felonies and I noted that it is perfectly fine for one of the national judges to have a criminal record!

Funny, right?! But sadly factual...

My comment was deleted promptly. So I posted it again. It was deleted again and my IP address has been banned from the board. Bum-RUSHED! Oh, the irony!

A friend posted some other undesirable facts about Mr. Limbaugh and has also been booted from the board. We find it hilarious!

I wasn't online much at all when the Lim-bomb went off in pageantland, so I'm not sure if the moderator threw down an edict against inflammatory discussions of this inflammatory man. If that's the case, I can almost understand trying to avoid the debate over him, but I am completely baffled by the banning of people who post facts. Facts!

At this very moment there are tons of negative opinions about contestants written on that board, yet we can't post 100% truths about a media personality and judge? Yes, my IP is banned, but that's easily remedied. In fact, the moderator sent a courtesy message with my "restricted access" notice stating that I could still log in as an AOL user. Hhmm... Then why ban me at all?

Again, I find it all very funny and certainly hypocritical. The healthy laughter and mindless distraction it has brought me is all part of what makes pageants and their message boards such a joyous hobby!


While I'm on the topic, I may as well address another message board MISScommunication. Fans on the Miss Ohio board are clamoring for the Maumee Valley / All*American City / Fallen Timbers contestant list. It is exciting and wonderful that people are so interested! Wageners have entrusted me with the list and asked I post it no sooner than 10 p.m., Ohio time, tomorrow.

Nonetheless, a list has emerged on the message board, based on comments found on Facebook. Again, the interest is awesome! However, it's not completely accurate. At first I thought they had three names wrong, but after a second crosscheck, it's two that someone incorrectly presumed.

I didn't mean to stifle the fun of speculation; in fact, I think figuring out which ones are wrong makes it more interesting! Reactions to my information included "Oh please, whatever Abby does or does not do, would make no difference in people speculating and assuming." and "Listen Abby - all those girls made references to competing on facebook. JENNA for sure. Facebook is an open portal for communication and I am not speculating, I am telling you what I read on facebook."

I said I didn't quite understand the hostility... This is a classic example of message board miscommunication! To me, the words "Oh please, whatever" and "Listen Abby" have some serious attitude behind them. That was my interpretation and I used the word "hostility" as a synonym for attitude, to which someone replied, "I don't see anything written that is to be considered hostile, can't anyone make a comment on here without being viewed as hostile or whatever, assume what you want, but the comment wasn't posted under hostile conditions lol"

Fair enough! Hostility probably wasn't the best word, since it tends to be taken quite literally. I really appreciate the person's "lol" at the end, as opposed to truly having a hostile reaction to my word selection! :) Ah, message boards, gotta love 'em...!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Green Is Gorgeous!

Like many companies and other pageant systems, Miss America is "going green" this year. They've partnered with TV personality Tamara Henry and her website, Green T with Tamara. Miss States (except Alaska and Louisiana) participated in a video shoot in which they gave a green tip; fans can vote for their favorite HERE and moreover, it gives us our first live look at these ladies!

Overall, I have to say I was disappointed in the Miss States this year; many of them seemed so lackluster in their personalities, delivery and styling! The poor camera lighting that was used during that shoot didn't do any of them any favors. That being said, I acknowledge that disappointment is almost always the reaction of most fans when they're first getting to know the new class of contestants, wouldn't you agree? I'm sure they'll grow on us. Even by the time I watched all the videos, I was able to list several women that excelled in various areas:

Whether it's good makeup or good genes, I found the following women to be notably telegenic; the camera loves them:

Idaho * Texas * South Dakota * Nebraska * Minnesota * Arkansas * Kentucky * Tennessee * Ohio *
Pennsylvania * Puerto Rico


I got so sick of hearing about recycling and grocery store tote bags that I thought my eyes were going to roll out of my head! So I started noting the women who actually had thoughtful ideas:

First prize for an idea that is highly applicable to pageantland is New Jersey, with her information about recycling MAC makeup containers. Second prize goes to Hawaii, because what pageant fan doesn't think a fashion show is fabulous?!

Wisconsin and Puerto Rico offered great reminders for our techi generation: unplug your gadgets when they're done charging and go paperless by paying bills online.

Illinois, Georgia and New York talked about hybrid vehicles and making smart trips.

Tennessee's tip is just common sense, but it bares repeating: adjust your thermostat while traveling. Similarly, Maryland gave me an "oh, duh!" moment by suggesting you keep your closet doors shut so you don't heat and cool unnecessary spaces. However, given her zeal for water conservation, I wouldn't want to be her roommate!

Vermont's university will be saving water by "going tray-less" in the dining halls. I don't foresee that working, especially for the male athletes on campus, but at least she can say those magic pageant words, "I led an initiative..."

DC's platform is "Let's Talk Trash," so obviously, she has a lot of good ideas.

Finally , I didn't find Arizona, Oklahoma or Mississippi particularly well spoken, but they do get points for talking about conservation efforts specific to their states.


The women I did think were well spoken, even if their tip was boring, were:

Idaho * Montana * Hawaii * Nebraska * Minnesota * Iowa * Wisconsin * Indiana * Tennessee * Alabama *
Pennsylvania * Virgin Islands

Ohio and North Dakota can be crowned the Queens of Concise. I don't seem to have any East-coasters in this list, so I'll have to rewatch them .


Then there's always that illusive, indefinable "It Factor."

I found Idaho, Nebraska, Tennessee and Pennsylvania to be vibrant, gorgeous and well spoken. Kentucky and Florida were full or life and energy and Puerto Rico oozes "it."


What was your impression of our first video look at the contestants? Who did you like? Leave a comment!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

From Miss to Mrs. to Mom!

Over the past couple months there seen many joyous occasions on Facebook that I meant to blog about, but...
Here are a few I saw and recall:

Former Miss Scioto Valley, Megan Wombacker
wed Craig Smargiasso.

Elizabeth Miller, a former contestant and sister to former Miss Ohio Teen, Ashley Miller, married Wes Clary.

Forever our Miss Congeniality, former contestant Zaina Agbo is engaged! The same is true of long time contestant Ashley Hartman and former Miss Cuyahoga Valley, Katie Wolford!

Two former Miss Ohio's recently joined the motherhood!

Marlia Fontaine-Weisse and baby Donovan

Natalie Witwer-Metzger and baby Adelaide

Congrats to all!

As always, feel free to send me these kind of updates; the Facebook news feed is a fickle thing, so don't be offended if I missed your magical moment. Or if you want this information or photos removed, my email is

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pageant Poll: Rush Limbaugh as a Miss America Judge?

When Rush Limbaugh was announced as a judge for the 2010 Miss America pageant, I didn't have time to give the news the attention it deserves; media outlets carried the story and blogs and message boards erupted.

In the official press release, Miss America's CEO, Art McMaster said, "We are thrilled to have Rush join us for our pageant this year...We know that the 2010 Miss America Pageant will be filled with new twists and exciting opportunities with him as one of our national judges."

However, many question Limbaugh judging a pageant that is aiding women's education and trying to "Go Green," given his many sexist and anti-environmental comments. Naysayers believe it to merely be a publicity stunt and those who don't like either Rush or pageants find it to be an antiquated match made in heaven. There are also those who feel his conservative views fit perfect with the ideals of Miss America.*

Direct Link
*Writing an affirmative sentence about Rush Limbaugh was extremely difficult for me. His racist, sexist, repulsive sentiments speak for themselves. I think both sides of the political spectrum should be represented on the judging panel, but there are far less offensive options, with cleaner criminal records to boot! In my opinion, this is a pathetic publicity stunt and I can not wait for the day Miss America gets out of bed with FOX News!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

From the Rumor Mill...

Update (10.22.09 7:50 p.m.): Reliable sources have confirmed that Erica's apartment in Mansfield was sold and she must vacate by the first of November. She liked the area and is going to stay with her Miss Ohio host family.


The word on the web is that Miss Ohio, Erica Gelhaus, is no longer living in her Primrose apartment in Mansfield. Supposedly the Mansfield retirement community needed the unit and Erica has relocated to the Findlay Primrose. If this is true, she now has a more direct route to her hometown, but is no longer centrally located for appearances... Feel free to confirm or deny this rumor by leaving a comment or emailing me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Defining the "Service" and "Style" Points of the Crown!

I am so glad Megan posted the picture below on HER BLOG, of former Miss Virginia, Tara Wheeler:

I hope you recall, Tara made great efforts during her reign to raise money for cancer research, with the promise of shaving her head. Since she didn't reach her goal she was contractually not allowed to do so until her year as Miss Virginia was over. But as you see, after crowning her successor she busted out the clippers!

I think she's actually more beautiful now! Fans were never satisfied with Tara's hair before and now that it's gone I think you can really see how facially stunning she is; it makes me think of former contestants, Emily Fitzpatrick's post-pageant cut:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pageant Press and Pictures: Miss Clayland 2009

Celina woman newest Miss Clayland

By Cindy Davis
Times Reporter

UHRICHSVILLE, OH — Heather Waterman, 22, of Celina was crowned Miss Clayland 2010 during the 54th annual scholarship pageant held Saturday night in Claymont High.

Waterman also received the Ray King Talent and Interview Awards, bringing her scholarship total to $2,130. The amount includes $500 to the Tuscarawas Campus of Kent State University.

...“I was really surprised and excited,” Waterman said after her win. “This is my third title, and Erica has crowned me all three times. I was also Miss Lake Festival
and Miss Northwestern.”

For her talent, Waterman performed the vocal “There You’ll Be” from the movie “Pearl Harbor.” She wore a yellow, two-piece bathing suit for the swimsuit portion of the contest and was asked her opinion about President Barack Obama’s national speech to schoolchildren for her impromptu on-stage question.

“I think anytime a president speaks to schoolchildren there is a great opportunity to learn,” Waterma
n said. Her platform is Ready, Set, Motivate, which focuses on setting goals for children and adults. She is attending graduate school at Wright State University to obtain a master’s degree in business education.

Waterman said she is happy to have the opportunity to go back to the Miss Ohio pageant in June and believes being Miss Clayland is an advantage.
“They have a great crew here, and I’m excited to work with them,” she added.

The first runner-up and recipient of a $300 scholarship was Kristy Moneysmith, 20, of Union City. Moneysmith sang “When a Man Loves a Woman” for her talent... She was asked about how to encourage college graduates to stay in the area with the high rate of unemployment. Moneysmith believes stimulus money and Issue 3 would bring jobs to the region.

The second runner-up was Sherry El Sakr, 23, of Strongsville. She received a $200 scholarship and performed “Canon in D” on the piano... Her impromptu question referred to the health care system.

...Danielle Henry ...was awarded a Community Service Scholarship of $150. Henry is active with the American Cancer Society and is an advocate for Relay for Life. She also speaks to local, state and national representatives about her platform, which is Being a Cancer Advocate – Speak Up! She performed a self-choreographed dance to “Walking in Memphis.”

“My experience during the pageant was really good,” Henry said. “It’s a wonderful program.”

Judges for the pageant were Scott Spinner, Eric Rathburn, Chris Keppler, Julie Pearch, Roni Peterson and Joanne St. Clair.

Click here
to read the entire article and CLICK HERE for a slide show of photos that can not be saved and reposted. Miss Clayland photos in this post are from CWN Photography, Bryce Bishop and Jillian Dankso.

[Above: Former Miss Claylands Erica Gelhaus, Karissa Martin and...? Anyone know? Below: E.D. Martha Campbell with her three recent titleholders, Erica, Heather and Karissa.]

As Pam pointed out in a comment below and the column noted above, this is not only Heathers third local title, but the third time she's been crowned by Erica! Above: Lake Festival in 2007
Unavailable: Miss Northwestern Ohio in 2008
Below: Miss Clayland in 2009

Facebook Fan Pages and Group Links

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Congrats to the New Miss Clayland, Heather Waterman!

Miss Clayland: Heather Waterman

1st Runner-up: Kristy Moneysmith
2nd Runner-up: Sherry El Sakr

Right Now: Miss Clayland

The Miss Clayland pageant is currently underway in Uhrichsville! It is not only the oldest Miss Ohio local, but also also has a strong history of success. It lays claim to the reigning Miss Ohio, Erica Gelhaus, last years Karissa Martin, as well as Miss America 1978, Susan Perkins Botsford and 1st Runner-up to Miss America 1985, Melissa Bradley Buchanan. More fun facts can be found on Miss Clayland's lovely new website!

Gelhaus, [seen above in a CWN Photo] will represent Ohio in January at the Miss America pageant. She won Miss Ohio on her third try and studies Voice at Otterbien College. At the pageant tonight she is cohosting with Scott Robinson, director of Tuscarawas County United Way. Clayland is known for E.D., Martha Campbells loud bird call and their high scholarships! Tonight the following six ladies are competing for more than $3,200 in scholarships:

Sherry El Sakr
Education: Graduate of Cleveland State University / Biology
Talent: Piano
Platform: Heart 101: Promoting Heart Healthy Lifestyles in Our Children
Pageant Past: Competed in a couple locals last season as a belly dancer, placing 3rd RU at Miss Mansfield.

Kristy Moneysmith
Education: Ball State University / Speech pathology & Audiology
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Mentoring Through Leadership and Role Modeling
Pageant Past: 1st RU and Swimsuit winner recently at Miss Lima Square Fair. She has competed at Miss Ohio as Miss Mohican Valley 2009 and Miss Chillicothe 2008.

Danielle Henry
Education: Kent State University / Nursing
Talent: Dance
Platform: Being a Cancer Advocate: Speak Up!
Pageant Past: Competed in a handful of locals last year, including Top 10 placement at Miss Muskingum Valley.

Ashley Bowman
Education: Kent State University / Political Science
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Celebrate the Character in You
Pageant Past: Competed recently at Miss Portsmouth.

Samantha Hartings
Education: Coldwater High School
Talent: Dance
Platform: Child Literacy Awareness
Pageant Past: Competed at Miss Ohio Teen USA last year.

Heather Waterman
Education: Graduate of Wright State University / Marketing
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Ready, Set, Motivate
Pageant Past: Preliminary Swimsuit and Non-semifinalist Interview awards at Miss Ohio 2009 as Miss Northwestern Ohio; held the title Miss Lake Festival 2008.


On a somewhat related topic, you might be asking, "Abby, what's the deal?" It may seem that I've been neglecting my blogs, but I assure you, it's not entirely by choice. As many of you know, I live in LA now where I've been doing background work as a means of joining SAG, the actor's union. Spending 12 to 15 hours a day on set, plus travel time, does not leave much time for anything else. Last week I was back in Ohio packing up my home there, which finally sold! It was four stressful, tiring days of moving things to storage and relocating my male counterpart and our pets to a temporary location. Yesterday I traveled all morning and afternoon and upon landing I went directly to work until 1 a.m.! So, sorry Miss Clayland, you didn't get proper promotion.

Blogging used to be my mindless hobby and the way I'd decompress, but I just don't have much time for it anymore. Meaning, I need your help more than ever! I greatly appreciate when contestants and parents send me updated information and pictures and when E.D.s send me dates and details for your pageants! Please, help me help you! :) Don't hesitate to send a reminder if I seem to forget to post something.

Also, if anyone has found a good blogger ap for iPhone, let me know. ShoZu simply does not work, BlogPressLite won't let me past the Picasa set up and blogging via text is an insufficient option.

Oh, and of course, someone comment or something when you hear the results of Miss Clayland! :) Thanks!