- Miss Gaston County Mandy Rogers is the 21-year-old daughter of Mark and Mary Ann Rogers of Mooresville. She is a student at Vermont Technical College pursuing a degree in business management with plans to own her own business. For the talent competition, she presented “B,” a spoken word poem by Sarah Kay.
- Miss Mount Holly Lindsey Woodward is the 18-year-old daughter of Larry and Cynthia Woodward of Gastonia. An Ashbrook High School graduate, she is a student at Gaston College and plans to pursue a degree in dentistry. For the talent competition, she sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
- Miss Gastonia’s Outstanding Teen Allie Stafford is the 16-year-old daughter of Tom and Michelle Stafford of Spruce Pine. She is a student at Mitchell High School and plans to pursue a college degree in dance. For the talent competition, she performed a contemporary dance to “953K.”
- Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen Jaylen Holt is the 15-year-old daughter of Joey Randall and Rebecca Randall of Stanley. She is a student at East Lincoln High School and plans to attend UNC-Wilmington to major in marine biology or chemistry. For the talent competition, she sang “How Great Thou Art.”
Nine contestants competed for the Miss Gastonia, Miss Gaston County, and Miss Mount Holly titles. Young women ages 18-25 who live, attend school, or work full-time in Gaston or surrounding counties (within a 50-mile radius of Gastonia) may enter the pageant. The Outstanding Teen portion of the pageant featured six contestants. The teen competition is for girls ages 13-17 from across the state – the teen contestants do not have to live in Gaston County.
Jailah Pettis, 18, of Kings Mountain was the first runner-up and winner of the Etha Hawkins Bumgardner Congeniality Award. Also competing in the pageant were Destiny Franklin, Corey Shirah, Brittnie Salazar, Mackenzie Houston, and Kira Crenshaw.
Chloe Castles, 17, of Wilmington was the first runner-up in the Outstanding Teen division. Other teen contestants were McKenna Harvey, Mackenzy Sharpe, and Valeri Umesh.
Todd Hagans and Tiffany Payne Costner, Miss Gastonia 2013, co-hosted the pageant, which featured the theme, “Miss Gastonia Christmas Spectacular.” The show included a variety of holiday-related songs with performances by Tiffany Payne Costner, Adrienne Perry Sulkey, Julian Wilson, Kaleb Reavis, and the Miss Gastonia Dancers from Studio Elite in Cramerton. Gastonia mayor Walker Reid and David Moore, a member of the Mount Holly city council, were special guests.
Rochford, Rogers, and Woodward will go on to the Miss North Carolina competition, which is scheduled for June 18-22 in Raleigh. Stafford and Holt will compete for the Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen title April 12-14 in High Point.
Nearly $220,000 in cash and in-kind scholarships were made available to the contestants. Belmont Abbey College, Cleveland Community College, Gardner-Webb University, Gaston College, and Paul Mitchell - The School in Gastonia provided in-kind scholarships.
The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association sponsored the pageant, which is an official preliminary program for Miss North Carolina and Miss America that serves Gaston and surrounding counties. For more information, visit the “Miss Gastonia Pageant” page on Facebook. In mid-January, the pageant will launch a new website at www.missgastoniapageant.com.
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