Title: Shine Like Saline: Celebrating 75 Years of Achievements
By April Christian-Davis
The stage was set, the anticipation was palpable, and the audience at the Saline Summerfest held their breath as Molly Coy, the emcee, stood at the podium. The day was filled with excitement, and the air was charged with the possibility of dreams coming true. After all, the Miss Saline pageant was not just a competition; it was a celebration of grace, talent, and achievements.
"The winner for Miss Saline 2023 is Erin Huetteman," Molly Coy announced, her voice echoing through the fairgrounds. The crowd erupted in applause, and Erin's radiant smile lit up the stage. She had proven herself as a guiding light of grace throughout the competition, and her victory was well-deserved.
As the applause settled, Molly continued, "The First runner-up is Phoebe Huddleston, and the Second runner-up is Katie Booher." Phoebe and Katie gracefully accepted their titles, knowing they had given it their all.
The competition had been fierce, with seven outstanding contestants, each possessing their unique talents and charm. Maddie Finocchiaro, Karris Lollar, Callahan Mittenberger, Grace Warren. It was a pageant of extraordinary women.
The event wasn't just about crowning a winner; it was about recognizing excellence in various facets of life. Awards were given to honor not only beauty but also community service, spirit, academic achievement, and congeniality.
Erin Huetteman received the Community Service Award, sponsored by Dr. Smita Nagpal of Stillwaters Counseling LLC. Her dedication to making a difference in her community had not gone unnoticed.
Katie Booher was honored with the Spirit of Miss Saline Award, sponsored by Fran Coy, Miss Saline 1958, and Amanda Coy, Miss Saline 2017. Her charisma and spirit had captured the hearts of both the judges and the audience.
Phoebe Huddleston was awarded the Academic Excellence Award, sponsored by Ann Taylor Tommelein, Miss Saline 1951. Her commitment to education had shone brightly throughout
Katie Booher, already a runner-up, was also named Miss Congeniality, an award sponsored by Lisa Bozzi of the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Cynthia Doody, Miss Saline 1976. Her friendly demeanor and warm personality had made her a favorite among her fellow contestants.
The judges, Mayor Brian Marl, Julie Pickenell, Jeffery McLaughlin, and former Miss Saline Sayoni Bandyopadhyay, had faced an arduous task in making their decisions. Each contestant had answered thought-provoking questions drawn from a special box, revealing their intelligence, poise, and character.
Molly Coy and Kim Bryant, the Co-Directors, expressed their pride and joy in continuing the tradition of Miss Saline. The 75th-anniversary celebration had brought together former titleholders, judges, authors, and special guests, adding depth and history to the event.
A special luncheon was prepared for the oldest living Miss Saline and other former winners who infused the occasion with even more significance. It was a moment of acknowledging and celebrating each other's talents and accomplishments.
Molly Coy said “This event was a great idea and we are so glad that the community continues to support one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Saline.”
The Saline Fairgrounds had provided the perfect backdrop for this extraordinary day. The legacy of Miss Saline had grown richer with each passing year, and it was evident that it would continue to do so. As the audience dispersed, they carried with them memories of a pageant that celebrated not only beauty but the enduring spirit of Saline's finest women. The event had been personal, engaging, and unforgettable, leaving a sense of hope and inspiration that would resonate in the hearts of all who had witnessed it.