Miss Greater Sandhills Outstanding Teen Earns Spot in Top 10
BY FAYE DASEN
The anticipation was palpable in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium last Thursday night as the audience waited for master of ceremonies Mark Ballas to announce the names of the top 10 semifinalists for the eighth annual Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen Pageant.
A loud clamor arose from the crowd when among those 10 contestants was Rachel Brittain, Miss Greater Sandhills Outstanding Teen.
The 10 were chosen from 35 contestants from around the state based on the number of points scored with an interview with the judges as well as group competitions held Monday through Wednesday nights.
Brittain participated in physical fitness, evening gown and on-stage question and talent categories, performing the song "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" from the Broadway musical "The Little Mermaid," the only vocalist in the top 10. Her community service platform was "Pink for the Cure."
Brittain, a student at Cape Fear High School, is the daughter of Chuck and Katrina Brittain, of Fayetteville.
Although she didn't bring home the crown, which went to Alexandra Badgett, Miss Lake Norman Outstanding Teen, Brittain found the experience to be rewarding.
"I really wasn't expecting to make it," she says. "Any of us girls were good enough to be up there.
Jan Spivey, executive director of the Miss Greater Sandhills program, and Kaye Fritz, co-director, have nothing but praise for Brittain.
"This was a tough competition year," says Fritz, who was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award Wednesday night by the Miss N.C. Pageant -committee. "We are extremely proud of her."
Brittain says that she made many friends.
"We were all very close," says the 15-year-old.
Brittain hopes that she represented the Sandhills well.
"Thank you to everyone who supported me," she says.
Paige Adkins, 16, daughter of Joe and Paula Adkins, of Pinehurst, competed as Miss Greater Carolina Outstanding Teen. Adkins tied with Savanna Humphries, Miss Mount Holly, for the community service award. She received a $250 savings bond.
Adkins' platform was "Eating Disorders in Teens."
"It's amazing to win," she says. "I really take this to heart because this is what the Miss America program is really all about - getting involved."
Adkins has visited dance and cheerleading camps and used any venue where there was an audience to discuss teen eating disorders.
"I also created the fourth Eating Disorders Anonymous group in the state," she says.
Adkins became interested in this topic after having several friends affected by this disorder. She is the STAR coordinator for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for the state of North Carolina and coordinates efforts to get legislation passed.
This is Adkins' second trip to the Miss N.C. Outstanding Teen Pageant.
"I have one more year of eligibility, and I plan to try again," she says. "You make friends you'll never lose. We were all really supportive of each other and will remain that way."
Alessandra Gironda, the 16-year-old daughter of Vito and Jan Gironda, of Southern Pines, tied in the physical fitness category in Wednesday night's group competition. She is a junior at Pinecrest High School.
Others from this area who were competing include Morgan Hendrix, the daughter of David and Peggy Hendrix, of Pinehurst, representing Durham; Amy Felix, daughter of Brad and Toni Felix, of West End, who represented Capital City; and Elizabeth O'Brien, daughter of Shelbi and Matt O'Brien, who was Miss UNCP OT.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 693-2475.
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