Four Queens Enthroned
One pageant, four crowns.
For the first time, the Miss Greater Sandhills Association was responsible not only for crowning its Miss Greater Sandhills queens, but the Miss Greater Carolina queens as well.
The 2013 Miss Greater Sandhills is Hillary Laster, and the 2013 Miss Greater Sandhills Outstanding Teen is Kathryn Payne. BrieAnna Hester was chosen as the 2013 Miss Greater Carolina, and Morgan Hendrix will serve as 2013 Miss Greater Carolina Outstanding Teen.
Saturday night’s pageant was held in Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School.
The new MSG, Hillary Laster, whose platform is the “National Inclusion Project,” is the daughter of Jeff and Robin Laster, of Laurinburg. She is a graduate of UNC Wilmington, and is now a teacher. A clogger, she performed to the Fergie version of the hit “Here I Come.” Her Carolina Princess is Laney Ray.
“I was more shocked than anything,” says Laster of her win.
This was Laster’s third time competing for the MGS title. She was chosen first runner-up in for 2011 and 2012.
“I’m thankful my hard work paid off,” she says.
Taylor Batten, daughter of Gregory and Tammy Batten, of Sanford, was chosen as first runner-up in the MGS division. Her platform was “St. Baldrick’s Basebald.” The UNC-Chapel Hill junior performed the vocal “Till There Was You” from the Broadway show “The Music Man.”
Other MGS contestants included Mary Allison Bennett, who won a talent award, Jasmine Henderson, and Anna Bowers, who was chosen as Miss Congeniality.
BrieAnna Hester, the new MGC, is a junior at Meredith College. She is the daughter of Frank and Pam Hester, of Henderson. Her platform is “iTAP — Impact Tomorrow, Assist People.” Her rhythm tap dance was set to “Cha Cha.” Her Carolina Princess is Madison Hadaway.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” says Hester, who will be making her third appearance in the Miss North Carolina Pageant in June. “I’m so excited to have this opportunity and look forward to working with Jan [Spivey] and the committee.”
Hester wants to thank the sponsors who contributed gifts for the contestants.
“I especially want to thank those who donated money to the Children’s Miracle Network,” she says. “I appreciate it.”
(Children’s Miracle Network is the nonprofit supported nationwide by the Miss America program.)
Beth Stovall, daughter of Dan and Patti Stovall, of Goldsboro, was chosen as first runner-up. She also received a talent award. She performed an operatic vocal.
Other MGC contestants were Crystal Byrd, Toria Mangum and Alexandria Freeman.
Kathryn Payne, the new MGS OT, is the daughter of Ken and Debbie Payne, of Greensboro. A junior at Page High School, her platform is “Arts Education for Special Needs Children.” She performed a high-energy tap dance to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Her Carolina Princess is Haleigh Baker. Payne also won a talent award.
The new MGC OT, Morgan Hendrix, is the daughter of David and Peggy Hendrix, of Pinehurst. Her platform is “Birthday Bags: Making Each Day Count.” The Pinecrest High School freshman performed a piano solo of “Moonlight Sonata.” Hendrix won a talent award and the community service award as well as being named Miss Congeniality by her peers. Her Carolina Princess is Gracie Hough.
Megan Huff, daughter of Martin and Lesa Huff, of Pinehurst, was chosen as first runner-up. The West End Middle School eighth-grader sang during the talent competition. Her platform is “P3.”
Chelsey Bennett, daughter of Brian and Carol McBride, of Aberdeen, was second runner-up. A Pinecrest High School junior who played the clarinet, her platform is “P3.”
Other OT competitors included Haven Cashwell, Savannah Tracy and Rachel Jackson.
Other Carolina Princesses were Beth Saunders, Faith Nelson, Allyssa Monk, Kathryn Bridges, Kaloni Walton, Ella Brittain, Courtney Hough, Emily Monk, Mya Ellington, Kelsey Thompson, Mikaylen Robinson, Callie Francisco, Allyssa Gagnon, Jaidyn Abbey and Nicole Cashwell.
Giving up their crowns were MGS 2012 Kensley Leonard, MGC 2012 Dominique Alston, MGS OT Rachel Brittain, and MGC OT Paige Adkins. All four offered up entertainment for the audience, with Leonard bringing twin brothers Elliot and Graham to the stage to perform a song titled “Gracious Spirit.” They were accompanied by Susan Ward.
The event was attended by titleholders from across the state, including the recently crowned Miss North Carolina, Arlie Honeycutt.
Jan Spivey, executive director of the MGS Association, presented the Spirit of the Sandhills Award to Natalie Hadaway, who has been an active volunteer.
Kevin Driver, representing the state committee, presented a $1,000 award to the local association in honor of MGS committee member Kaye Fritz, who was given the Gina Jacobs Award during the Miss N.C. Pageant in June.
Contact Faye Dasen at email@example.com.
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