Rowan County represented at state pageants

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2011

RALEIGH — Rowan County was recently represented by two local ladies at the Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageants at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
The pageant, covering more than a week from the contestants’ arrival to the finals on Saturday night, drew 33 Miss contestants and 32 Teen contestants from around the state. The actual pageant was June 21-25. The Outstanding Teen Finals were on Friday, June 24 and the Miss Finals were on Saturday, June 25.
The Miss category covers young ladies from ages 17-24. The Outstanding Teen competition covers ages 13-17. The ladies compete in various areas: Evening Gown and On-Stage Question, Swimsuit or Fitness attire, Talent, and an Interview with the Judges. Each of the scores are tabulated with preliminary winners announced in the areas of Talent and Swimsuit or Fitness. The top 10 contestants with the highest combined scores of the week are named. These ladies continue to compete wherein a Top 5 is announced, with the winner being chosen from this group.
Scholarship and award monies for participants and individual winners totaled over $40, 000 for the Miss contestants, and the Outstanding Teen contestants received savings bonds totaling over $13,000. The winners, Miss Hailey Best and Miss McKenzie Faggart, will continue on to represent North Carolina at the national competitions of Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, respectively.
Miss Rowan County, Elizabeth Scott Safrit, daughter of Walter and Lynne Safrit of Kannapolis, is a graduate of A.L. Brown High School and is currently a rising sophomore at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She is a Dean’s List student, majoring in Political Science and Pre-Law, with a career goal of becoming a Public Policy or Government attorney. She is also a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority. Her platform, a cause which she is working to promote as Miss Rowan County, is Childhood Cancer Awareness. She has raised money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Relay for Life, and has visited sick children with some one-on-one attention. She has several appearances planned at local hospitals, including the Levine Children’s Hospital and Rowan Regional Hospital, as she works to bring attention to the kinds and severity of childhood cancer. She has also made appearances at the Carolina’s Next Top Model competition, a cancer fundraiser, where she was able to discuss her platform with the audience and the local Children’s Miracle Network golf tournament.
Safrit appeared at the Charlotte Symphony Concert this past Saturday evening, speaking about her platform to more than 16,000 people. Other appearances have included throwing out the first pitches at the last Catawba College home baseball game, the Kannapolis Intimidators game this July 3 and the South Rowan/Rowan American Legion game July 4. She has also made appearances in the Kannapolis Christmas Parade and the Faith Fourth of July parade. Safrit has met with members of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce to promote awareness of her title and platform. Her talent for the Miss North Carolina competition was Jazz en Pointe to “Walking on Sunshine.”
Miss Rowan County’s Outstanding Teen, Kristalyn Suzanne Gill, is the daughter of Burgo and Stephanie Gill of Statesville. She is a rising junior at the Statesville Christian School and an honor roll student. She is active in many extracurricular activities, including Girl Scouts and dance. Her platform, Fit for the Future, is one that encourages young people to participate in physical activities. She introduced her platform at the after-school program at Statesville Christian School, where she was volunteering. She noticed the students were not being very active, and she approached the headmaster with the idea of organizing fun, physical activities for the students. It has proven to be a success at her school, and she hopes, through her platform, to encourage other schools to adopt a similar program.
She has appeared at many of the same venues as her sister queen, Miss Rowan County, but has also appeared in the Statesville Christmas Parade and the Troutman Fourth of July Parade. She is a competitive dancer with Tilley’s Dance Studio in Statesville, and recently returned from a national dance competition. Gill’s high energy jazz dance performance at Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen to “So Much Better” from the Broadway musical “Legally Blonde” earned her a preliminary talent award. She later went on to be in the Top 10 and was named one of the 5 semi-finalists. She was 3rd Runner-up to Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen.
These ladies were crowned in the Miss Rowan County Scholarship Pageant in December, 2010. This pageant is the first in many years to send representatives to the Miss North Carolina pageant. The upcoming pageant at which Safrit and Gill will turn their titles over is to be held on November 12, 2011 at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury.
There are upcoming fundraisers to support the pageant and scholarship funds with a Pancake Breakfast on July 9 at Applebee’s, a Princess Booth at the Farmer’s Day celebration in China Grove, and a golf tournament on August 20 at Corbin Hills Golf Club. Visit the pageant’s website for information regarding these fundraisers, appearances, and how to become a contestant.