A crowd of over 200 people came to watch the Miss Portsmouth and Miss Shawnee pageants, along with the Outstanding Teens Sunday.
The crowd was not to be let down, as the young ladies who competed wowed them over and over again with their talent and formal wear.
Four young ladies came out as the victors of the day, with two them being local girls:
Miss Shawnee 2019 – Grace Brown, who is an 19-year-old dancer from Heath with her platform ‘Girl2Girl: Inspiring Future STEM Leaders’;
Miss Portsmouth 2019 – Baylee Martin who is an 18-year-old vocalist from South Webster with her platform ‘You Will Be Found’ focusing on mental health;
Miss Shawnee’s OT 2019 – Madison DeFrank who is a 17-year-old vocalist from New Albany with her platform: Alzheimer’s Awareness: ‘Save the Memories’;
Miss Portsmouth’s OT 2019 – Kylan Darnell who is a 15-year-old dancer from Wheelersburg with her platform ‘Give F.I.V.E.’
Martin said she was very surprised to win the title of Miss Portsmouth 2019, ” Oh my gosh, I was competing against girls who had competed in multiple prelims and one of the girls had already been in the running for Miss Ohio. I was just ecstatic to be there and I recognized that not everybody could be a winner, but had the opportunity to have a great time that day.” When they announced her name she said, “I was so excited I had no idea. I love pageantry and I knew by doing Miss Portsmouth, that would be the next step for me. I had already succeeded in Miss River Days and it prompted and pressed me to succeed in the Miss America system. I was very excited to try my luck and do my best put my best out there to see what would happen.”
“Oh my gosh,” Martin said when talking about the Miss Ohio Pageant. “To compete with the best girls in the whole entire world, I feel like pageantry is one of the best things that happen, whenever you surround yourself with such amazing people. It makes you a better person and I feel like moving up to the next level, I will be inspired to be the best I can be…and represent my community in the best of light. I will carry on my platform, ‘You Will be Found’ on mental health awareness, I still feel so strong and passionate about that,” she said. “It has impacted my life so much, where I have had depression and suicidal thoughts in my lifetime, I want to continue to share my story with the public and continue to inspire others, reject stigma and reinforce hope in my community.” When talking about her support, she added, “I am so blessed to have a family as crazy as my dreams.”
Kylan Darnell, the other local winner said, “I was ready to compete in this system this year. I have worked hard toward this goal for years. There were many talented contestants on stage that night. I always say a different night with different judges can equal different title holders, I try to never be surprised by judges opinions. I am very grateful and honored to represent Portsmouth.
“Even though I love meeting people and making new pageant friends, I am looking forward to Nationals in Florida,” Darnell said. “It might take me a couple tries to get there, but I know it’s possible. I hope I was a role model on stage and that every little girl or young teen at the pageant, either sets a future pageant goal or finds something to get involved in, from one of the platforms talked about.”
Lorie Lowe, Production Director and board member said that the Miss Shawnee & Miss Portsmouth Scholarship Program, is an official preliminary to Miss Ohio and Miss America.They will all compete in June at Miss Ohio in Mansfield.
Lowe also wanted to thank the many sponsors that helped tremendously with the pageant, “We are also very appreciative of the local community support and being able to offer the scholarships that we were able to present with local funding, in addition, to the many local sponsors who contributed to gift bags for the contestants and helped to provide lunch for the judges and contestants.”
There are video clips of the talent on their Facebook page: Miss Shawnee & Miss Portsmouth Scholarship Program.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928