Carswell, Paul win local pageant titles

Published 2:21 pm Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

Two area high-school students became overnight local celebrities after being crowned Miss Beaufort County and Miss Summer Festival, respectively.
Marcrissa Carswell, a junior at Southside High School, was selected Miss Beaufort County 2010 on Thursday evening. Kayla Paul, a senior at Northside High School, was named Miss Summer Festival 2010 on Friday. The two were crowned during fundraising pageants held at the historic Turnage Theater in Washington.
Carswell, the 17-year-old daughter of Bernita Shepard of Washington, was sponsored by Nana &Papa’s Country Kitchen &Grill. She won a $200 college scholarship provided by PotashCorp Aurora.
Paul, the 17-year-old daughter of Jay and Tammy Paul of Bath, was sponsored by Jay Paul Construction. She won a $200 college scholarship sponsored by Century 21 The Realty Group, Dave Alton Insurance and Stewart’s Jewelry Store.
Each also won a $150 book scholarship provided by Beaufort County Community College, as well as a color portrait by Gregg Ward Photography.
First runner-up was Emily Lobos, a junior at Washington High School and the 17-year-old daughter of Laura Gaines and Michael Lobos of Washington. She was sponsored by Washington Urological Associates and received a $100 college scholarship provided by PotashCorp Aurora.
Alexis Peed, a junior at Washington High School and the 16-year-old daughter of Richard and Kristen Peed of Washington, was named second runner-up. She was sponsored by Carmike Cinemas and received a $50 college scholarship provided by The Rich Company.
Other award recipients were Holly Davenport, who was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants, and Lonniesha Williams, winner of the People’s Choice award. Davenport, 18-year-old daughter of Tina Ward of Washington, is a senior at Washington High School. She was sponsored by Troy Tyson Industries. Williams, 17-year-old daughter of Amy Smith and Lonnie Williams Jr. of Washington, is a senior at Southside High School. She was sponsored by Atlantic Enterprises.
Other contestants were Catherine Moore, 18-year-old daughter of Suzanne Moore of Washington, sponsored by Marshall DuVall; Fiona Watson, 19-year-old daughter of Kevin and Dorothea Fonville of Aurora, sponsored by Brenda’s Florist and Peedtown Baptist Church; Brittany Ward, 17-year-old daughter of Steven and Trina Ward and granddaughter of Sandra Ward of Belhaven, sponsored by Family &Friends Fellowship Reunion Committee; Chelsea Baynor, 18-year-old daughter of James and Vicki Baynor of Washington, sponsored by Ben Davis/Leggett Farm Organics; and Janel Robinson, 16-year-old daughter of Leroy and Terrencia Robinson of Washington, sponsored by the Washington branch of Key Women of America Inc.
Local businesses providing prizes for the finalists include Frank’s Pizza, Salon 208, Tips &Toes, Amy’s Hallmark, The Blythe House, I Can’t Believe It’s A Book Store, Domino’s Pizza, Charisma Boutique, Washington Jewelers, La Bella Pizzeria, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Down on Mainstreet, Beaufort County Arts Council, Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, Washington Tourism Development Authority, Beaufort County Medical Center and the Turnage Theater.
In what pageant organizers hope to become an annual event, the Beaufort County Woman of Excellence Award was presented to Judy Meier Jennette for serving as a positive role model to young women. Jennette was a longtime member of Washington’s City Council before becoming the city’s first female mayor.
Chynna Bonner served as mistress of ceremonies, and the winners were crowned by Janet Swain Cox, a former Miss Beaufort County. Entertainment was provided by Amanda Rose, Jonah Taylor, Denicia Hamilton, Destiny Tyson and Gabby Brown.
Serving as judges, awarding points in private interview and onstage competitions, were Scotty Henley, Pam Shadle, Scott Campbell, Catherine Glover, Beth Byrd, Kevin Bischof, Judy Jennette, Catherine Good, Jane Fenton, Arnold Barnes, Glenda Barnes, Debbie Adams, Joey Toler, Ned Irvine, Elaine Spencer, Greg Katski, Angela Harne, Melissa Smith, Brandy Lee, Lakisha Johnson, Travis Midgette and Sarah Hodges.