By James Beaty
A total of 15 contestants are set to compete in the Miss McAlester and Miss Teen McAlester Scholarship Pageant set for 7 p.m. Saturday at S. Arch Thompson Auditorium in McAlester.
Eight contestants are entered in the Miss McAlester Pageant, with another seven contestants entered in the Miss Teen McAlester competition, also set for Saturday night at S. Arch Thompson Auditorium.
“We have a strong set of candidates who have a variety of talents,” said Jennifer Stewart, director of the Miss McAlester Pageant.
Stewart is working with Lori Few, director of the Miss Teen McAlester portion of the pageant, and other
volunteers from Beta Iota Epsilom Sigma Alpha, to put the event together. Stewart said the two competitions will be held concurrently.
Miss McAlester contestants will compete in talent, evening gown, swim wear and interview categories, Stewart said.
Miss Teen McAlester contestants will compete in the same categories, with the exception of swim wear. Instead, the teens will compete in active-wear, according to Stewart.
The reigning Miss McAlester Anna Prichard and Miss Teen McAlester Jessie Matthews are expected to attend this year’s pageant to hand over their respective titles.
Winner of the Miss McAlester Pageant wins the right to continue to the Miss Oklahoma Pageant, which is a precursor to the Miss America Pageant. The winner will also receive scholarship funds for college.
In addition to selecting the new Miss McAlester and Miss Teen McAlester, awards or prizes will also go to the contestants chosen as Crowd Pleaser, Miss Congeniality and Most Photogenic. A $500 cash award goes to the contestant who wins the marketing award, according to Stewart.
Contestants in this year’s pageant are:
• Taylor Burmeier, 17. Burmeier’s talent is contemporary dance to the song “Use Somebody.” Her platform is Emily’s H.E.A.R.T., Heart Education Awareness. She is the daughter of Kyle and Stacy Burmeier.
• Gina Brewer, 20. Brewer’s talent is vocal music, featuring the song, “My Strongest Suit.” Her platform is T.A.P.S., Talking About Preventing Suicide. She is the daughter of Gene and Joy Brewer.
• Anna Rowell, 18. Rowell’s talent is pointe dance, to the music of “Maniac.” Her platform is Man’s Best Friend Needs a Hand. She is the daughter of Skip and Cleora Rowell.
• Kaylee Harvanek, 17. Harvanek’s talent is vocal music, featuring the song, “Hallelujah.” Her platform is Fitness and Fun, Fighting Childhood Obesity. She is the daughter of Kameron and Tanaye Harvanek.
• Kyndle Souther, 17. Souther’s talent is jazz dance, featuring the song “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Her platform is Scoliosis Awareness. She is the daughter of Stanton and Misty Souther.
• Halie Turrentine, 18. Turrentine’s talent is dramatic monologue, featuring “Tomorrow’s Wish.” Her platform is Showing Veterans the Respect They Deserve. She is the daughter of John and Jamie Turrentine.
• Hilary Clayborn, 21. Clayborn’s talent is jazz dance, with the music of “But I Am a Good Girl.” Her platform is Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. She is the daughter of Edmond and Shelly Shropshire, and Gary Clayborn.
• Makenna Smith, 17. Smith’s talent is lyrical pointe, featuring the “Main Title” from “August Rush.” Her platform is Going Green. She is the daughter of Orlean and Shane Smith.
Miss Teen McAlester
• Amber Lenington, 15. Lenington’s talent is jazz dance, to the music of “Life of the Party.” Her platform is Shine a Light on Slavery. She is the daughter of Donny and Stephanie Lenington.
• Alli Merrifield, 15. Merrifield’s talent is dance, featuring the song “Stay.” Her platform is Movement Toward Better Health. She is the daughter of Danny and Donna Hayes.
• Allison Furlong, 16. Furlong’s talent is jazz dance, featuring “All That Jazz.” Her platform is Fire Prevention Education. She is the daughter of Tina and Benny Brooks.
• Morgan Harvanek, 14. Harvanek’s talent is acro-cheer-dance to “Spirit Explosion.” Her platform is Epileptic and Confident. She is the daughter of Kameron and Tanaye Harvanek.
• Eme Sherman, 15. Sherman’s talent is vocal music, featuring the song, “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Her platform is Ending Childhood Hunger. She is the daughter of Dave and Shelly Larson, and Tommy and Kerrie Sherman.
• Camryn Sanders, 15. Sanders’ talent is vocal music, featuring “The Climb.” Her platform is Minimizing College Costs Through Concurrent Education. She is the daughter of Edgar and Pamela Sanders.
• Madeline Jarrett, 14. Jarrett’s talent is vocal music, featuring “Like My Mother Does.” Her platform is Service Learning Through 4-H. She is the daughter of Brent and Melissa Jarrett.
Plans call for each of the Miss McAlester and Miss Teen McAlester contestants to be accompanied by the McAlester Stars, which consists of girls from ages 6-to-10. A prize will be awarded to the McAlester Star who collects the most donations, Stewart said.
Tickets to the pageant are $12 each, which covers both the Miss McAlester and Miss Teen McAlester competitions.
S. Arch Thompson Auditorium is at 201 Adams Avenue, between Second and Third Streets.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.