Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Four local ladies will compete Saturday to be crowned Miss Clinton County.
The 52nd Miss Clinton County Scholarship pageant will begin at 7 p.m. at the DeWitt Central Performing Arts Center. The theme is “Hawaiian Nights,” with Miss Clinton County 2010 Elyce (Bark) Billany and Miss Clinton County 1998 Erin White as the MCs. Tickets are $10 and available at the door or at Clinton Printing.
“It’ll be fun,” contestant Molly McDonnell said.
McDonnell, 17, of Clinton, will be a senior at Clinton High School, where she is on the National Honor Society, is an academic mentor and participates in cheerleading and is the varsity wrestling manager. She also is a member of the Gateway Contemporary Ballet company and will perform ballet en point for her talent.
McDonnell previously held a teen pageant title. However, she gave it up to participate in the Miss Clinton County pageant to give the competition its required fourth contestant.
Two of last year’s contestants are returning to the competition. Rachel Kuhl, 18, of Camanche, was first runner-up last year.
“So I’m going to try again this year,” Kuhl said. She will perform jazz dance as her talent.
She graduated last May from Camanche High School and will attend Clinton Community College in the fall majoring in elementary education. She served as a class officer, a member of student council and was in the 3.0 Club in high school. She has volunteered at the Victory Center.
Emily Evans, 18, of Clinton, will once again compete in the pageant “to gain self confidence and earn scholarship money.” Her talent is tap dance.
“I love being on stage and being able to perform,” Evans said.
A recent graduate of Camanche High School, she plans to attend Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, majoring in photography. In high school, she developed the Best Buddies program, had the lead role in “Grease” and served as captain of the cheerleading squad.
For Brandy Herrington, 20, of Clinton, the competition is a family event. Her older sister, Ashley, is the current Miss Clinton County and her younger sister, Cassy, is serving as her chaperone. She said Ashley has been a great help in her preparing for the pageant.
“It’s been so fun doing this together. It’s another bond we share,” Herrington said.
She graduated first in her class at Northeast High School where she was MVP in basketball and volleyball. She will perform a piano solo for her talent.
The contestant named Miss Clinton County will compete on the state level in 2014. During the year, she will promote a platform special to her.
As a pre-medical student, minoring in psychology at Wartburg College in Waverly, Herrington wants to become the voice and friend for those with mental heath disabilities. Her platform, “Lifting the Fallen Angel” advocates for those individuals.
During the past year, Kuhl has become interested in physical fitness, creating the platform, “Healthier Habits for a Happier Heart”.
McDonnell will promote the “T.R.Y Study Connection,” standing for teens relating to youth. She hopes to obtain a masters in mathematics and a bachelors in middle school education.
Evans has chosen the platform “Students and the Arts.”
“I don’t want to see the performing arts get cut from schools,” Evans said.
The new Miss Clinton County will receive two years tuition from Clinton Community College, a $1,500 Miss Clinton County Board Scholarship, a $500 Clinton Jaycees Foundation scholarship and a $100 Camanche Kiwanis scholarship. Special scholarships will include: $100 from Coupe DeVille; $200 from Clinton Printing, Clinton Kiwanis, Tim Heim and Gateway Travel and Cruise; and a $250 Diamond Talent scholarship from Necker’s Jewelers.
The first runner-up will receive an $800 scholarship. All contestants will receive a $500 scholarship, as well as numerous prizes from local merchants.
The pageant also will feature Lil Miss Clinton County, Junior Miss Clinton County and Clinton County’s Outstanding Teen pageants. Contestants include: Malana Mohr, Brooklyn Thoms, Aurora Howard and Kendylle Huling for Lil Miss; Rebekah Jaeger, Brittany Costello and Corynna Hugunin for J. Miss; Kennedy Walters, Alexis Schroeder and Danyka Jaeger for Outstanding Teen. Biographies of those contestants will be in Saturday’s Education section in the Clinton Herald.