Leonard Chosen as Miss Greater Sandhills 2012
BY FAYE DASEN
Kensley Leonard, of Southern Pines, was crowned Miss Greater Sandhills 2012 Saturday night at the annual pageant held at Owens Auditorium.
Leonard, the 20-year-old daughter of Barry and Kay Leonard, of Southern Pines, is a junior at N.C. State University, where she is majoring in communications and minoring in Spanish. Her community service platform is "Behind the Screen: Cyberbullying in America." She plans to work with the N.C. Senate on a piece of legislation regarding cyberbullying.
Her talent presentation of "My Strongest Suit," from the movie "Aida," also won her the Lisa Mace Talent Award. Karsen Corbett, 6-year-old daughter of Eric and Tracey Corbett, of Pinehurst, will serve as Leonard's Carolina Princess this year, accompanying her to the Miss N.C. Pageant in Raleigh next June.
Hillary Laster, daughter of Jeff and Robin Laster, of Gibson, a senior at UNC Wilmington, was chosen as first runner-up. The 20-year-old's community service platform was "Teaching Inclusion in Community Schools," and she clogged to the Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself."
Taylor Batten, second-runner-up, also won the Community Service Award for her work on her platform "Basebald for the Cure." The UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore is the 19-year-old daughter of Gregory and Tammy Batten, of Sanford. She also won awards for ad sales and ticket sales.
Mary Ann McGirt, a junior at Richmond Community College, was chosen by the other contestants as the recipient of the Donna Dacre Congeniality Award for the miss category. She is the daughter of Jeff McGirt, and granddaughter of Barbara McGirt, of Laurinburg.
Other Miss contestants were Jenna Overton, a freshman at Central Carolina Community College and daughter of David and Tammy Overton, of Sanford; and Jasmine Henderson, 17-year-old daughter of Robert and Johnna McDaniel, of Aberdeen, a Pinecrest High School senior.
In the teen competition, Rachel Brittain, 14-year-old daughter of Chuck and Katrina Brittain, of Fayetteville, was selected as Miss Greater Sandhills Outstanding Teen 2012. A freshman at Cape Fear High School, her community service platform is "Passionately Pink for the Cure."
Her talent was a vocal rendition of "Not for the Life of Me," from "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Claire Sutton, 8-year-old daughter of Keith and Debbie Sutton, of Fayetteville, will be Brittain's Carolina Princess.
Alessandra Gironda, 16-year-old daughter of Vito and Jan Gironda, of Southern Pines, was selected as first runner-up. The Pinecrest High School junior's platform was "Plie With Purpose." She also won the talent award with her theatrical jazz dance to "My Strongest Suit" from "Aida." Gironda was also chosen by the other contestants for the Donna Dacre Congeniality Award for teens.
Second runner-up was Ryan Cooke, 14-year-old daughter of Ross Cooke and Linda Harte, of Southern Pines. The Pinecrest High School freshman performed a ballet en point to "Set Fire to the Rain" during talent competition. Her community service platform was "Helping the Homeless."
Chelsey Bennett, 15-year-old daughter of Brian and Carol McBride, of Aberdeen, won the silent auction award.
Morgan Hendrix, whose community service platform was "Birthday Bags: Making Each Day Count," received the teen community service award. She is the daughter of David and Peggy Hendrix, of Pinehurst.
Also competing at the teen level was Amanda Felix, 15-year-old daughter of Brad and Toni Felix, of West End.
The Spirit of The Sandhills Award was given to Kaye Fritz, current business manager to Miss Greater Sandhills and Outstanding Teen, for her outstanding service and commitment to the organization.
"We also made a donation in honor of the Pinehurst Fire Department to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Association for their continued support of our pageant and donation of their facilities for our meetings," says Jan Spivey, executive director.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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