After a 20 year absence from Fountain Valley, the Miss Fountain Valley Scholarship Pageant will make its official return to the city this Saturday.
The event will feature 12 contestants, ages 17-24, who are competing in various categories to claim the title of Miss Fountain Valley. Also up for grabs is $13,000 in scholarship money, which is being awarded by local companies, including Hyundai, Orange Coast Memorial and Fountain Valley Regional Hospital.
Contestants are required to contribute $100, which goes toward the Children Miracle Network, as well as create platform statements for the charitable cause they would promote if crowned Miss Fountain Valley.
The pageant, which is linked to the Miss America Organization, will propel the winner of the Fountain Valley pageant to the Miss California Pageant. The theme this year is “Reach for the Stars,” which is what the judges will be searching for in the 12 contestants.
The judges will be looking for a young woman who exemplifies the whole package--beauty, brains, humanitarianism and motivation, said Keeli Scott Lisaack, executive director of the Fountain Valley pageant.
“We are looking for somebody that is obviously motivated to improve their education and someone who wants to be involved in the community and in charitable organizations, whether it‘s their own or something that they believe in," said Lisack, a former Miss Fountain Valley of 1977. "And obviously they have to be personable and articulate and all of those qualities that you find in someone that is making the best of themselves.”
The 12 contestants are looking to support various causes, which range from bully prevention to helping impoverished children.
Contestant Gracie Briggs, 17, is looking to promote the cause of dwindling self-confidence in girls. Briggs hopes to start a movement she calls the “Snowflake Effect,” in which everyone sees and appreciates the differences in themselves and in others, and accepts these differences as beautiful.
Briggs wants this year’s Miss California and the general media to set new standards of beauty by redefining what ‘beautiful’ is.
Contestant Valerie Kraus is looking to bolster the cause of proper animal treatment, which includes getting animals adopted and eliminating pit bull fighting rings and puppy mills. She claims to have always been dedicated to animals and animal rights, and aspires to eventually become a veterinarian.
Jeanamarie Pirio, a student at CSU Long Beach, is focusing her platform on the fight against child obesity. Pirio is concerned with the eating habits of young students, and if chosen as Miss Fountain Valley and then as Miss California would meet with school officials to encourage them to adopt a course on food education and fitness programs that will teach children the importance of a healthy diet and of exercising regularly.
Along with presenting ideas of how to encourage and support improvement in society, Miss Fountain Valley contestants will compete in four categories: swimsuit competition, evening gown competition, a talent competition and an on-stage question and answer session.
Before being chosen for the pageant, contestants underwent a personal interview. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Saigon Performing Arts Center in Fountain Valley. Tickets can be purchased at www.missfv.com for $15.