A journey began for one lucky pageant winner at Waynesville High School in the annual Miss Pulaski County Scholarship Pageant on the evening of February 24th.
The Miss Pulaski County Pageant is the beginning of the Miss America journey for the lucky winner. Five young women competed for the crown of Miss Pulaski County and four competed for the crown of Miss Pulaski County Outstanding Teen.
Miss Missouri 2017, Jennifer Davis, was one of the emcees for the evening, entertaining the crowd with her humor and wit. She also shared some of her experiences of being Miss Missouri. Miss Mid-Missouri 2016, Christina Beard, was also an emcee, sharing her experiences and talent as well.
The young ladies competed in various competitions including Lifestyle and Physical Fitness, Talent, Evening Wear, and On Stage Interview. These competitions not only helped them in earning a crown, but also to earn scholarships.
One scholarship in particular was given in honor of a close friend of the pageants. Mrs. Barbara Gladwell Wilken was a volunteer who spent 35 years with the Miss Pulaski County Scholarship Pageant Association. Barbara was a former pageant director, judge and board member of the Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen Pageant, as well as retired from the Waynesville School District. She spent a lot of her time volunteering and helping with pageant affairs. Barbara passed away in June 2017.
Lelar Corbett, a fellow volunteer and close friend of Barbara said, “She was one of the hardest working volunteers we had. It took five or six people to fill her shoes with all the work she took on.” Corbett went on to add, “Volunteering was Barbara’s way to give back to the community. She absolutely loved the work and helping the girls.”
There were two Barbara Gladwell Wilken Memorial Scholarships to be given out that night, each in the amount of $1000.Presenting this award was certified judge and long-time volunteer of the pageant, Paul Corbett. The scholarship was to be awarded to the Miss Pulaski County contestant who scored the highest in the talent category and the Miss Pulaski County Outstanding Teen contestant who received the highest score in the Interview category.
There was a tie for the highest talent score between two Miss Pulaski County contestants, therefore, the Barbara Gladwell Wilken Scholarship for this category was split evenly between those ladies. Receiving this scholarship were Audrianna Hebron and Nicole Chabloz. Audrianna wowed the crowd with an energetic tap routine and Nicole sang beautifully, performing “Don’t Rain on my Parade.”
The Miss Pulaski County Outstanding Teen winner of the interview category, Jayden Tiberi-Orozco, received the second Barbara Gladwell Wilken Memorial Scholarship.
Jennifer Davis said, “I always looked at this part of the competition as ‘how can you save the world in 30 seconds.’”
Jayden answered her question with poise and grace, exuding confidence.
The winner of the Miss Pulaski County crown receives a $500 scholarship and a chance to win up to $10,000 in scholarships. Training for the state level pageant and a trip to Miss Missouri is also included in her winnings. The crowned Miss Pulaski County Outstanding Teen earned her entry fee for the Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Program and training for the state level pageant.
The contestant that was crowned Miss Pulaski County Outstanding Teen was Sophia Grace Milhollin. The crown for Miss Pulaski County went to Audrianna Hebron. Both contestants will advance to the next level of pageantry and Audrianna will begin her journey to possibly becoming the next Miss America.