Glittering gowns and cheery smiles were on display Wednesday night as contestants of the Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen pageant graced the stage at Missouri Military Academy for the first round of public preliminary competitions.
Miss Missouri contestants are split into the Alpha and Sigma groups. Alpha group presented evening wear and each woman's social impact statement. Sigma group performed their talents. The Outstanding Teens Crown group displayed their evening wear and took an on-stage question, while the Sash group are to present evening wear and on-stage questions tonight. The teen groups went through preliminary talent and active wear competitions this morning.
Talent winners were selected Wednesday from the miss contestants and evening gown and on-stage question winners were named for the teens.
For the teens, Miss Zona Rosa Outstanding Teen Olivia Richardson, of Kansas City, was named as rookie evening gown and question winner. She is the daughter of Antoine and Sequita Richardson.
Miss Springfield Outstanding Teen Maggie Huffman, of Mexico, and Miss Branson Outstanding Teen Shae Smith, of Bolivar tied for overall evening gown and question. Huffman is the daughter of Linda and George Huffman. Smith is the daughter of Mark and Angie Smith.
Richardson was asked about the girl scout program and how it started her love for female empowerment. "I saw the community that they had and I wanted to be a part of it," she said.
Huffman was asked a question that focused on the "Buddy Blankets" campaign used in hospitals. She used the Cs of choose a positive mindset, challenge your dreaming and connect with people. "I use these to teach a positive mindset by putting a card with each blanket," she said.
Smith's question focused on the Children's Miracle Network and its "One Miracle at a Time, One Dollar at a Time," platform. "I want to encourage all of you to just donate $1 at a time, because it truly does add up," she said.
Miss Moberly Christina Brocksmith of Moberly was named as the overall talent winner for her rendition of "Think of Me," from the musical "The Phantom of the Opera." She is the daughter of David and Christy Brocksmith. She is in her second year at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg and will receive a $500 scholarship for her preliminary win.
"We have been pushing really hard to study opera and foreign language music, so I just wanted to showcase something different, something I've been working on, something even my family hasn't really seen yet," she said.
Rookie talent winner was Miss River City Faith Whatley-Blaine, of Florissant, who played a piano version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." She is the daughter of Nancy and Jim Whatley-Blaine.
Emcees for the evening were Miss Missouri 2003 Amber Etheridge Johansen and Miss Missouri 2008 Lacey Fitzgerald-Whitt. Other entertainers for the evening included past winners of Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen.
Friday's pageant will include the crowning of Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen 2019. The judges will choose 10 finalists to go with the audience choice teen. The winner will be selected from those 11 girls. Prior that that, the teens showed off their athleticism and various talents this morning. Rookie and overall winners were chosen in the Crown and Sash groups.
All girls performed the same athletic routine to show off their strength and balance. Following that, all teens performed their talents, including dancing, singing or performing a musical instrument.
Rookie winners were Miss Historic 66 Outstanding Teen Bryiar Callaway of Republic from the Crown group and Miss Spirit of St. Louis Outstanding Teen Bri Foli of Chillicothe from the Sash group. Callaway is the daughter of Brant and Karla Callaway. Foli is the daughter of Jeff and Teresa Foli.
Overall talent winners were Smith from the Crown group and Miss Fleur de Lis Outstanding Teen Halie Hebron of O'Fallon of the Sash group. Hebron is the daughter of Mark and Michele Hebron.
Rookie talent winners receive a $100 scholarship and overall winners receive a $250 scholarship.