Schankweiler and Horsley are the first mother-daughter legacy queens in River Days pageant history.
There were 12 girls competing for the queen title this year. Miss River Days 2011 First Runner-Up and Miss Photogenic was Miss Clay, Shay Walker. Miss River Days 2011 Second Runner-Up was Miss East, Emily Howard; and Miss Congeniality was Miss Portsmouth West, Brittany Bazler.
“I thought this year’s pageant was amazing. The competition was real close. These girls are all beautiful and they’re all smart,” said River Days Pageant Committee Member Jodi Conkel. “Everybody in the lobby said this is the best pageant they have ever seen.”
“I think it went really well. We were able to give away more scholarship dollars than ever this year thanks to a lot of area businesses,” said Pageant Committee Member Trish Dingus.
The girls said their favorite part of the experience was meeting the other girls in the pageant and making new friends. Howard especially enjoyed when the girls went to dinner together at Toro Loco and Buffalo Wild Wings.
When the pageant night arrived, the girls each anxiously waited on stage to hear if their name would be called.
“I didn’t know what to do with myself. I remember standing there when they were getting ready to call it, and I was squeezing the girls’ hands. I was frozen and then I thought, ‘wait a second, they just said my name,’” Walker said.
As First Runner-Up, Walker would normally have been crowned by last year’s First Runner-Up Winner, Ali Suttles (Miss Green, 2010) — but Suttles was unable to attend because she plays for the volleyball team at Marshall University and she had a game Saturday night.
When the host announced Miss Wheelersburg as the winner and 2011 Miss River Days Queen, Schankweiler hugged Miss Notre Dame, and she was crowned by Miss River Days 2010 Kayla McDaniel (Miss Glenwood).
“I remember when I was little, I always played with my mom’s sash. Now I get take buttons from it; like I have a picture of her wearing her sash, and it’s really cool because we get to share something in common,” Schankweiler said.
As queen, Schankweiler will travel around Ohio representing Scioto County at various state festivals and events.
After high school, Schankweiler would like to study nursing, but she hasn’t decided where yet. Walker will also study nursing, and would like to attend The Ohio State University. Howard would also like to attend The Ohio State University or University of Kentucky, studying pre-med.
DVD copies of the pageant are available for sale for $20. For information, email portsmouthrdqueens @yahoo.com.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.