Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
By Betty Lawrence
A queen is chosen
Celina Lake Festival
The crowd in the nearly full Celina Fieldhouse roared as Cayla Hellwarth of Celina was named Miss Lake Festival 2009 by Miss Ohio Erica Gelhaus following a full night of competition.
Last year's Miss Lake Festival Ellen Bryan crowned the new queen, who will reign with her court during this weekend's Celina Lake Festival.
Hellwarth, 18, is a 2009 graduate of Celina High School and the daughter of Daniel and Dawn Hellwarth of Celina.
Attired in a strapless, fitted white gown, Hellwarth's stirring performance of the classical vocal "Gira con Me" drew a strong response from the crowd. She chose a long shimmering bright red gown for the evening gown portion of the contest and wore a two-piece bright blue swimsuit for the lifestyle and fitness division. Rounding out the queen's court are first runner-up Sharee Werling, 18, also a 2009 graduate of Celina High School. She is the daughter of Richard and Suzanne Werling of Celina.
Werling performed the classical vocal "The Prayer" in the talent portion of the pageant and her two-piece swimsuit was bright yellow. Her long sleeveless evening gown was multi-colored.
Named second runner-up was Grace Hirt, 17, a 2009 Celina High School graduate. She is the daughter of Dennis and Dwyn Hirt of Celina.
Hirt also performed a classical number, "Poor Wandering One," in the talent portion of the contest and chose a sleeveless long pink gown for the evening gown division. She selected a one-piece blue swimsuit for the lifestyle/fitness section.
Third runner-up Kirsten Samples, 17, a 2009 Celina High School graduate. She is the daughter of Chuck and Lynn Samples of Celina.
She performed a jazz vocal to "Hit Me with a Hot Note" in the talent portion of the contest and her two-piece swimsuit was bright yellow. For the evening gown portion of the competition, Samples wore a long sleeveless glistening white gown.
The talent portion of the scholarship pageant made up 35 percent of the judges' score, and private interviews conducted by the judges just prior to the pageant accounted for 25 percent. The evening wear portion totaled 20 percent of the score; lifestyle/fitness in swimsuit, 15 percent; and the brief on-stage interview, 5 percent.
The Miss Lake Festival pageant has the distinction of being one of the largest scholarship pageants in the state of Ohio. It also is a preliminary to the Miss Ohio pageant.
As queen, Hellwarth will receive a $3,600 Miss Lake Festival scholarship. She also won the $600 Fred Thees interview and the $600 Outstanding Talent award.
First runner-up Werling received a $1,600 scholarship, second runner-up Hirt will be the recipient of $1,300 and third runner-up Samples, a $1,000 scholarship money. Samples also was the recipient of the $300 on-stage interview award.
The $200 People's Choice award went to contestant Kylee Chrisman, and the $700 Commitment to Excellence award went to Jennifer Kahlig.
Each non-finalist also received $400 in scholarships. They were Chrisman, Kahlig, Kristy Schaefer and Brandi Ridder.
The Miss Lake Festival scholarship committee awarded a total of $12,500 in scholarships to the contestants. Also, the Western Ohio Education Foundation is providing $4,000 in scholarships to participants who attend Wright State University-Lake Campus.
Entertainment throughout the evening was provided by Gelhaus of St. Henry and Bryan of Celina, who sang several vocal selections.
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