Friday, November 12, 2010

Pageant News: Miss Ohio Stays in Mansfield

Over the past several weeks the future location of the Miss Ohio Scholarship Pageant has been in limbo. The men at the top of the board entertained a bid from the city of Zanesville to move the program there. Finally the decision was announced that the program will indeed stay in Mansfield.

Kathy Thompson / Zanesville Times Recorder
November 12, 2010

ZANESVILLE -- Zanesville Mayor Butch Zwelling was visibly upset when he announced the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program will remain in Mansfield.

"I've worked on getting the pageant here for three years," Zwelling said Thursday. "I don't think I'll do it again unless there's a strong indication they would come."

Zwelling said he gave pageant board members a verbal commitment of three years and offered them almost $400,000 in hopes of luring them to Zanesville...

Zwelling said the in-kind money would have been for items such as a $5,000 break on renting Secrest Auditorium, which usually is rented for $10,000, and for at least $5,000 in security provided by the Zanesville Police Department...

"It would have been a shot in the arm for Zanesville," Zwelling said. "There are 28 contestants and you think that when they came, they would bring families and friends. I had a motel offer to give them 16 rooms for eight days and nights. The winner would have lived here. She could have gone to all the openings in the community and done special events. I'm very disappointed."

Zwelling said he thinks pageant board members made a mistake.

"But, we'll move forward," Zwelling said.

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Lou Whitmire / Mansfield News Journal
November 11, 2010

MANSFIELD -- The Miss Ohio Scholarship Program will stay in Mansfield.

Zanesville officials had tried to lure the pageant there, possibly before next year's event in June, but the board decided Wednesday "that remaining in Mansfield would be in the best interest of the program at this time," according to a press release from program spokesperson Kim Kanary.

“Now the hard work of partnering with Miss Ohio to rebuild them, so they become self-sustaining again, needs to begin,” Lee Tasseff, director of the Mansfield-Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said today,

The Miss Ohio board was pondering a departure from Mansfield, where it has been for 36 years, without a written contract from the City of Zanesville, Tasseff said Wednesday...

Community leaders met with the Miss Ohio Scholarship Board of Directors on Wednesday night and went through the board's wish list point by point, Tasseff said after the meeting. "We said they were all doable. We did ask them, if they're sticking around, we intend it to be a partnership...

Kanary's press release referenced the partnership proposed by Mansfield leaders and acknowledged the "stirred emotions" the proposed move had created. "(W)e believe it ultimately resulted in a stronger partnership with more open and improved lines of communication," Kanary stated...

The board has declined to release Zanesville's financial proposal.

The Miss Ohio program operates with expenses between $175,000 and $225,000...

Tasseff said Mansfield has been the single best partner Miss Ohio has ever had. The city's lodging tax contributes $10,000 annually to the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program. Newman Technology Inc. donates $10,000 to the new titleholder each year.

Miss Ohio officials did not return calls seeking comment this morning.

Tasseff was grateful for the efforts of local officials to keep the program here. “It’s been an enthusiastic and very focused group of community leaders. It’s been a true team effort and we will continue that,” he said...

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