Auburn teen takes pageant crown
By Melanie Gray and Mackenzie Ferreira
"Hampton Union", July 26, 2010
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]
HAMPTON — The 64th Miss Hampton Beach Pageant crowned its winner on Sunday — a young woman from Auburn who wants to heighten beach cleanness and promote the town's family events.
Seventeen-year-old Megan Colley was crowned Miss Hampton Beach by last year's winner, Kristin Crossland.
"I'm so excited, just elated," Colley said. "Growing up here, this is the place I love."
First runner-up was Katrina Harrington; Holly Garcia, Alicia Rossman and Melissa Barra took home second, third and fourth runner-up, respectively.
"The most exciting part was finding out who won," said Garcia, who participated in the event in both 2007 and 2008. "I've done this pageant twice before and didn't get anything, so this is an improvement."
Garcia, 19, of Everett, Mass., also was runner-up in Little Miss Hampton Beach in 1996.
When asked what she would do to improve the image of Hampton Beach, Colley said she would work to enhance its cleanness.
"I feel the beach could be a little cleaner," she said. "It's already pretty clean, so why not keep it a little cleaner?"
Colley's main goal as Miss Hampton Beach is to get the word out about the family friendly beach. She said she looks forward to attending such events as the Penguin Plunge, which benefits the Special Olympics of New Hampshire.
"I tell the judges, just give me someone to promote this beach," event organizer Stephanie Lussier said.
The 15 contestants were judged on three categories: swimwear, evening wear and onstage interviews.
Though there was no talent portion, the pageant featured dances by Dance Vision Network, as well as a dance number by the 15 contestants to begin the show and performances by both Crossland and 2008 winner Lacy Jane Folger.
Lussier was scheduled to perform a rendition of "Haven't Met You Yet," by Michael Bublé, but glitches in the sound system prevented her from doing so.
Though there were some technical difficulties, Lussier, who won the pageant in 1995, said that it was to be expected.
"If it's not one thing, it's another," she said. "Something happens every year. We're at the beach. It's not that we're unorganized, just on a whim."
While each of the contestants received participation trophies, special awards went to several of the girls in categories such as Miss Congeniality, won by Amelia Rogers and Jennifer Blais. Harrington won an interview award, and Rossman took home the honor of winning the swimsuit portion of the pageant.
In her farewell speech, 2009 winner Crossland credited her win for opening up many doors, including the opportunity to travel through South America doing community service work while studying abroad.
"This has been one of the greatest years of my life," she said. "It was the door to many opportunities I may not have had the confidence to try before."