The nation’s ultimate young ladies’ contest of beauty, brains and talent is, of course, the iconic Miss America Pageant. The statewide precursor to the national pageant is the Miss Virginia Pageant, held this summer in Roanoke, Virginia, on June 19 – 25. The local precursor to the statewide pageant is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s® Miss Apple Blossom Pageant; and, last month, our local pageant and its current titleholders were thrilled to receive numerous awards at the Miss Virginia extravaganza.
Much to their surprise the directors of our local Miss Apple Blossom Pageant received special recognition for being chosen the “Outstanding Local Pageant of the Year” by the Board of the Miss Virginia Pageant. Bridget Aikens, Linda Edwards, and Crystal Pullen were invited on stage to accept the award. They were recognized for the longevity of our local pageant’s involvement at the state level; and, the commitment our local directors and their committee show toward their local contestants and the Miss Virginia Pageant itself. The Winchester area community was acknowledged for its tremendous support in scholarship donations and sponsor donations. The “Land of Pink and Green” is deeply grateful for this coveted honor.
Cameron Smith, our current Miss Apple Blossom, wowed the crowd with her vocal rendition of “California Dreamin’” during the talent competition. Cameron placed in the top ten overall, and received a $700 scholarship. She was the recipient of a $500 community service scholarship from Wells Fargo Bank for her dedication to Children Miracle Network Hospitals through her platform “Saving Lives Through Lexie’s Legacy.” For three years, Cameron’s sister, Lexie, struggled for her life, but lost her battle after the failure of a second double lung transplant, leaving 3 million dollars in medical expenses. A room has been named for Lexie at a Ronald McDonald House and her family decorates it every year for the Christmas season. Cameron is committed to promoting awareness for the organization that gave so much to her family, as well as making others mindful of the importance of charity. Donations to Children Miracle Network Hospitals go toward purchases of medical equipment, educational tools, theraputic toys, and even help cover in-home care costs.
Trilby Brown, Miss Apple Blossom’s Outstanding Teen, placed in the top ten overall at the Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. She was also 1st runner up for the Academic Award, and 2nd runner up for the Most Photogenic Award. Her platform is “ASPCA – Action for Animals,” from which she encourages others to support the protection of animals through the ASPCA and its affiliates through her online fundraising page “Action for Animals,” as well as encouraging that animal shelters themselves work toward becoming “no kill” facilities. She encourages local middle school and high school students to consider taking active roles in their local shelters to raise awareness of the ASPCA’s ongoing needs in community.
In four short months, the entire cycle will begin again locally when the crowning of Miss Apple Blossom 2017 takes place on November 5th, 2016, at 7:00pm, at Daniel Morgan Middle School. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsor, The Loudoun Mutual Insurance Company. Contestant applications will be posted on the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® website in September.