The pageant contestants had a busy few days on floats, in the crowd, and on stage this weekend, with any one of them being deserving of the crown of River Days Queen, but Minford cinched that honor Saturday night with a pageant win.
The crowned court of royalty for 2022 consisted of Miss Minford Mychal Cron as Miss River Day, Miss Portsmouth Taylor Corke as First Runner-Up, and Miss South Webster Riley Raynard as Second Runner-Up.
This year was a special year, according to committee co-chair Regina Speas, who said this is the third time Minford has won in a row.
“We’ve heard nothing but great things about the pageant,” Speas said. “This is the first time in history we’ve had three Minford winners in a row, so everyone is calling it a ‘threepete’”
The committee consists of eleven leaders with Speas and Amanda Crabtree as co-chairs. Speas said that she is honored to co-chair with Crabtree, who has been a contestant, pageant mom, and committee member since 1997. Speas has been involved since 2013.
“The pageant empowers women and gives them skills they can use the rest of their life,” Speas explained. “Girls have gone on to interview for their dream jobs and be able to secure them. The growth you see them undertake during their year of service is just amazing.”
As part of the pageant, the contestants must choose a cause to champion for during their campaign. Each chooses something near and dear to their heart and dedicates time raising awareness, funding, and more for their passion project.
“They each choose their community service project for something they’re passionate about. Each candidate is given an open door for creative impacts within the community,” Speas said. “Many of the girls who have completed their projects have been able to secure scholarships when applying for college. They’re able to articulate what they were able to do and how they helped their communities. We also have girls who have gone on to succeed in other pageant systems like the Miss Ohio Scholarships programs and we’ve had girls win large scholarships.”
Cron’s River Days Scholarship haul included the President and Community Service Award, Greg Davis Interview Award, Fitness Wear, Evening Gown Award, School Spirit Award, Outstanding Platform, Spirit of River Days Award, Overcoming Adversity Award, Encouraging Teens to Volunteer, Spirit of Service Award, Shattered the Ceiling, Young Leadership Scholarship, and Queen Scholarship.
Cron said that her platform was more than a project, it was a passion.
“I called my platform my passion and it was entitled “She’s More,” as in she is more,” Cron said. “I used it as a success story about how my family battled addiction. I wanted to use it to educate the women within our society who struggle with substance abuse. A lot of times, there is a negative connotation around an addict. We think of them as a personal failing or having a character flaw. We need to look at their value, their identity and their purpose. We need to look at the people with addiction and let them know they have a name. If society starts loving others back to life, and starts showing grace, we can overcome and battle addiction together.”
For her project, Cron worked on building-up women within recovery. She partnered with the Scioto County Career and Technical Center and Market Street Café.
Cosmetology students donated time to 16 women’s hair from people in a treatment center. She also had a nail tech work on them and a massage therapist. Finally, she partnered with Market Street Café and culinary students to feed them. Cron said that she loved her project, because not only did it benefit the women, but also the students by giving them experience.
“As the girls were walking out, one of them stopped and told me ‘people like you remind me that everything will be okay one day for me,’ and I can tell you and promise you that, tomorrow, I am going to take this crown to the recovery home and tell them I did it for them,” Cron said.
Cron said she hasn’t decided on a school yet, but she is going to take her $7,350 in scholarship funds to major in business with a degree in marketing.
“I would love to follow in my mom’s footsteps,” Cron explained. “I see all the various pathways it takes her down and she is one of the women I look up to most.”
Speas said she is proud of all of the girls and all of the people who made River Days happen.
“I think that the pageant goes back to the history of the festival and history of River Days in the community, and I think the pageant has evolved over the years and means a lot to people. A big part of it is the impact that it has on the girls and the impact that the girls have on their communities. This year was just great,” Speas said.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved