Miss America 2009 could be the girl next door

Published 4:59 pm Saturday, December 20, 2008

By Staff
New pageants are open to Beaufort County residents
Lifestyles &Features Editor
A future Miss America could very well be the girl next door.
For the first time in nearly 30 years a local preliminary competition to the Miss America pageant is being held in Beaufort County. The contest is planned for Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009 at Southside High School in Chocowinity.
Young women from Beaufort, Martin, Craven, Pitt, Carteret, Pamlico and Lenoir counties between the ages of 18 and 24 are eligible.
The winner of the Miss Eastern Carolina title will then compete in Raleigh next June for the crown of Miss North Carolina. The winner of the state pageant goes on to participate in the Miss America pageant in 2010.
Deadline for entries for the local pageant is Jan. 17, 2009. For more information or to request an entry form, contact the pageant’s executive director Crystal Newby at director@easterncarolinapageants.com.
As with the Miss America pageant, contestants will participate in five areas of competition: personal interviews with the pageant’s judges, talent, evening wear, physical fitness and lifestyle in swimsuit and the final onstage interview.
The Miss Eastern Carolina pageant will also feature a competition for younger contestants. Girls between the ages of 13 and 17 are invited to vie for the title of Eastern Carolina’s Outstanding Teen, the winner of which will represent the area in next year’s North Carolina Outstanding Teen finals in Raleigh.
The Outstanding Teen competition is much like that of the Miss division, except physical fitness in active wear takes the place of a swimsuit presentation. The state Outstanding Teen is eligible to compete for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.
Founded as a bathing beauty contest on the beaches of Atlantic City, N.J. in 1921, the Miss America pageant has become the largest scholarship program for young women in the world. Thousands of women have participated in the program since that first year, and former contestants have gone on to make their mark in the fields of education, medicine, education, politics and the arts.
The reigning Miss North Carolina, Amanda Watson of Garner, is currently preparing to compete for the title of Miss America 2009 in January in Las Vegas. She is among the state and district representatives hoping to succeed Michigan’s Kirsten Haglund.
The winner of the Miss Eastern Carolina title will receive a prize package that includes no less than a $1,000 college scholarship, wardrobe expenses for the Miss North Carolina pageant, trophy and the official Miss America local preliminary crown.
Because the Miss America, Miss North Carolina and Miss Eastern Carolina pageants are strictly nonprofit, organizers depend on the kindness of volunteers and businesses willing to provide necessary items and services. Donations such as gowns and other clothing for the state pageant, interview coaching, portraits and attorney services are needed.
Area businesses who are interested in supporting this worthwhile program through monetary contributions or prizes should contact Newby at (252) 902-6040.
*For more information about the Miss Eastern Carolina and Eastern Carolina Outstanding Teen program, visit the website www.easterncarolinapageants.com.