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Pageant to be held at Howe School


The Miss Collegiate North and Miss Collegiate North Outstanding Teen pageant will be held this Saturday, March 16, in The Howe School Bouton Auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the door beginning at 6 p.m.

The pageant has six Miss Collegiate North contestants and nine teen contestants from around the state, including Paige Frost from Lakeland High School.

Miss Collegiate North and Miss Collegiate North Outstanding Teen programs are official preliminaries to the Miss America Pageant System and Miss America's Outstanding Teen Program.

The winners of Saturday's contest will advance to the Miss Indiana and Miss Indiana Outstanding Teen Pageant June 19-22.

This is the first year that Miss Collegiate North will be held in LaGrange County under the new direction of executive directors Pamela Wainwright and Jenae Garretson and Vice President Jenessa Boniface.

Miss Collegiate North is open to students at the following schools for entry status: Ancilla, Bethel, Goshen College, Grace College, Huntington University, Indiana Wesleyan, IU Kokomo/South Bend, Manchester University, Notre Dame, St. Francis University, St. Joseph University, St. Mary's, Taylor University, Trine University, Valparaiso University, Ivy Tech, as well as previous year title holders from Purdue University, Ball State University, and IPFW.

Miss Collegiate North Outstanding Teen is open to teens throughout the state. Teen contestants from Indiana are:

Paige Frost of LaGrange, a student at Lakeland High School. She will perform sign language to “Faith to Fall Back On.” Her platform is “Cancer Awareness, Treatment and Cure.”

Morgan Kerrn of Elkhart, Ind., a junior at Jimtown High School. She will perform a tap routine to "Dancing Machine” by the Jackson 5. Her platform is “Do Something Amazing Today. Save a life, give blood.”

Caleigh Downey of South Bend, Ind., a student at LaSalle Intermediate Academy. She will perform a baton twirling routine to “You Belong with Me.” Her platform is "Raising Awareness for Foster Care and Adoption."

Abby Scrock of Spencerville, Ind., a student at Eastside High School. She will perform a lyrical dance to "Secrets." Her platform is "Breast Cancer Awareness."

Allie Dicken of Kokomo, Ind., a student at Northwestern High School. She will perform a vocal selection, “Cockeyed Optimist” from South Pacific. Her platform is “Stand Up to Bullies – It Is The Right Thing To Do.”

Bria Prugh of Elkhart, Ind., a student at Concord Junior High School. She will perform a lyrical contemporary dance to “Patient Love” by Passenger. Her platform is “Expanding Resources for Sexually Abused Children.”

Ariel DeMotte of Washington, Ind., a student at Washington Junior High School. She will perform a vocal selection to “Journey to the Past” from Anastasia. Her platform is “Volunteer; Make a Difference.”

Sarah Sipe of Arcadia, Ind., a student at Hamilton Heights High School. She will perform an a cappella tap dance to “Acoustic Sounds.” Her platform is “Be a Leader, Be A Volunteer.”

Sarah Downing of Westfield, Ind., a student at St. Maria Goretti Catholic School. She will perform a vocal selection to Colbie Caillat's “Bubbly.” Her platform is "Community Service."

The six Miss Collegiate North contestants are:

Michaela Piatt of Osceola, Ind., a student at IUSB.  She will perform a vocal selection to "Only Hope."  Her platform is "Importance of Fine Arts Education for Adolescents."

Sunee Fleshman of Trinidad, Colo., a student at the University of Notre Dame. She will perform a vocal selection to "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from “Evita.”  Her platform is "Don't Dream It's Over."

Mary Jane Mix of Garrett, Ind., a student at Grace College. She will perform a flute selection to "Circle of Life" from “The Lion King.”  Her platform is "4-H: Making the Best Better!"

Carrie Shank of Elkhart, Ind., a student at Manchester University.  She will perform a modern dance to "Move."  Her platform is "Music for All."

Darcy VanDiepenbos of New Paris, Ind., a student at Goshen College.  She will perform a pop dance. Her platform is "4-H: Developing Life Skills."

Kaitlin Thompson of Bluffton, Ohio, a student at Grace College.  She will perform a jazz dance to "Black & Gold."  Her platform is "Let's Get Fit."

 The Howe School is the platinum sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include Howe Restaurant, Robin's Nest, and Plyley's Candies.

More than 12,000 young women participate each year in the local and state events, culminating in the selection of 53 national finalists who vie for the Miss America title. Tens of thousands of volunteers organize the local and state preliminary competitions, promoting community involvement throughout the U.S. and furthering scholarship and achievement among young women in their communities.

Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. It provides a forum for today's young women to express their viewpoints, talents and accomplishments to audiences during the telecast and to the public-at-large during the ensuing year. Almost all contestants have either received or are in the process of earning either college or post-graduate degrees, and utilize Miss America scholarship grants to further their educations.

The Miss America Competition began in 1921 as part of an elaborate public festival staged by Atlantic City businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In the 1980s, a significant stride toward community service was made by the organization when it began requiring each contestant in the local, state and national competition to embrace a social platform of national significance. As a result, Miss Americas have since become powerful, visible and credible spokeswomen for issues ranging from AIDS awareness and prevention programs to programs in support of homeless veterans. Whereas the Miss Americas of the past may have spent their year of service signing autographs in local drug stores for one of the pageant's sponsors, Miss America today is in great demand as a speaker before legislative bodies, civic and national service organizations, and prestigious bodies of the nation's news media. Today, on an annual basis, Miss America state and local titleholders along with the organization's network of volunteers participate in more than 12,000 community service projects, providing in excess of 500,000 service hours to worthy causes.

Since its inception in 1921 the competition continues to grow and remains rich in history and social significance. Based in Linwood, N.J., the Miss America Organization provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of unique nationwide community-based programs.

Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc. has been organized to encourage positive achievement by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living, and community involvement of our nation’s youth. Among its initiatives, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc. hosts a national competition intended to encourage and reward the talent, communication skills, community service, and academic achievement of girls ages 13-17. The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization has also established community-based initiatives and mentoring programs aimed at helping the nation’s youth build character and gain the skills necessary for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, community and business leaders, as well as participants from the national competition, the organization continues to implement programs aimed at helping young people develop strong values, leadership skills, social conscience, self-worth and conviction about their own potential. The organization’s mentoring and community-base initiatives are available to all young people, both male and female, ages 13-17. Funds raised by the organization are used to fund scholarships for deserving young people according to guidelines established by the organization’s board of directors in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations. Funds are also used to establish and develop the organization’s mentoring program and community-based initiatives. The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization has been awarding scholarships to individuals on the basis of academic merit and civic and social achievement. Scholarships are awarded without condition or obligation to provide future services.