The annual Miss Shawnee and Miss Portsmouth Scholarship Program was held over the weekend. Over the course of the pageant, women from across the state competed for titles and scholarships.
“We crowned four people, two teens and two miss and they will all advance to Miss Ohio in June,” Lori Lowe, a pageant organizer said.
Those that walked away with titles include, Miss Shawnee Outstanding Teen, which was awarded to Nia Gribbons, Miss Portsmouth Outstanding Teen, which was awarded to Katie Hitchens. The title of Miss Shawnee was awarded to Stephanie Yasechko and the title of Miss Portsmouth was awarded to Abbey Hitchens.
“We host an open pageant, which means that as long as the contestant meets the residency requirement, of living or attending Post Secondary education in the state of Ohio, she is eligible to compete. We have contestants from all over the state competing this year, which means that brings money into our local economy because they stayed in local hotels and dined in local restaurants,” Lowe said.
According to Lowe, the city of Portsmouth has hosted a Miss Ohio preliminary for over 50 years.
“There was a brief hiatus in the pageant when a local group of pageant supporters petitioned the Miss Ohio Board of Directors for a return to Portsmouth. Since that, we have been able to continue to send both Miss contestants and Teen contestants back to Mansfield (the home of the Miss Ohio and Outstanding Teen Pageants), to compete for the Miss Ohio crowns,” Lowe said.
She said since preliminary pageants came back to Portsmouth, event organizers have seen an abundance of contestants compete for the available titles.
Lowe said two of the girls crowned at the 2016 pageant went on to compete for and win the titles of Miss Ohio and Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen.
When asked what the contestants have to go through over the course of the pageant, Lowe said the contestants compete in the categories of lifestyle and fitness and a number of other categories including talent.
Leading up to the competition in Mansfield, the title holders will travel around the state to various events, festivals and fairs promoting their platform and the pageant.
“After winning in Portsmouth, they will compete in the Miss Ohio competition in Mansfield (in June). If they are fortunate to win in June they will be our representative to Miss America in Atlantic City in September. The Miss American Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando will be in August,” Lowe said.
Lowe said the pageant would not be possible without the support of the local community.
“We have provided great scholarship opportunities that we can be proud of,” Lowe said.
Lowe said those that were given titles are looking for opportunities within the community to give presentations about their platform or talk about their experiences with the pageant since being crowned.
For more information about the Miss Shawnee and Miss Portsmouth Scholarship Program find them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter