Elizabeth White reacts when she hears her number, then her name, announced as Miss Chick 2014. (Bob Robinson photo)
VERSAILLES – “I went into this hoping to at least get onto the court… I can’t believe this! The community has given me so much. I want to give back!” An excited Elizabeth White couldn’t stop smiling as she acknowledged she’ll be super busy… “But so excited, so much fun; I can’t wait to meet new people.”
Keith Rawlins, Master of Ceremonies of the 2014 Poultry Days Miss Chick Pageant, paused for several seconds with three young ladies still waiting (the two runners-up had already been announced)… then named contestant No. 2, Elizabeth White.
White is the daughter of Ron and Rachel White and sponsored by Encore! Showchoir. First Runner-up Courtney Rose is the daughter of Richard and Carolyn Rose, and sponsored by Canine Capers 4-H Club. Second Runner-up Cassidy Condon is the daughter of Gary and Teresa Condon, and sponsored by Edwin F. Nickol Monuments, Inc.
Also among the Top Five were Taylor Stover, daughter of Eric and Julie Stover, sponsored by Pohl Transportation, and Rachel Osterloh, daughter of Luke and Sharon Osterloh, sponsored by Versailles FFA.
Fifteen contestants vied for the title of Miss Chick 2014. They went through an interview process prior to the June 14 competition. In the first round, each contestant answered a different question, then presented themselves to the judges and the audience. The Top Five had a second round of questions.
In response to her question White said personal failures “make you stronger – it builds stronger people” and encourages them to achieve their successes in life. First runner-up Rose said the most important thing to teach the child you will have some day is to “be yourself, do your best” and be successful. Second runner-up Condon said technology is a positive influence in today’s society and used the example of her adopted little brother from Ethiopia.
At the Little Miss Poultry Days competition Miss Chick 2013 Lauren Gehret said she had forgotten her number the previous year and didn’t think she had won until she saw her mother crying in the audience. When she heard her name she started crying. Her advice to this year’s contestants? “Memorize your number!”
White took her advice. Also helping with questions and answers were 2013 First Runner-up Kristen Collins and Second Runner-up Jaclyn Lawrence.
The contest is open to any female 16 to 18. To enter the only requirement is get a sponsor, a car and a dress, have signs made and “mentally prepare yourself,” said Stover. Contestant Malinda Barlage said it’s very nerve wracking; at the same time it’s lots of fun. She was in it last year. The girls said they were (12 of the 15) pretty close knit friends, with Osterloh noting no matter who won they would support each other. “You just give it a good shot.”
Rawlins, artistic director for Darke County Center for the Arts, noted how beautiful they all looked, then asked contestant Holly Dirksen if she was going to do cartwheel today like she did for the interview. Someone asked if he would catch them if they tripped and fell… Rawlins noted he was likely the one to trip and fall.
He explained his job was to make the young ladies as comfortable as possible while they were out there; then in response to a contestant asking about the time, he said “1:40… you have 20 minutes to stew about it.”
Contestants in addition to those mentioned were Presley Oda, Ariana Barnhart, Andrea Luthman, Abigail Nealeigh, Gabrielle Walker, Emily Walters, Abbey Didier and Cailin Litten.
Miss Chick 2014 Elizabeth White and her Court: First Runner-up Courtney Rose (left) and Second Runner-up Cassidy Condon. (Bob Robinson photo)