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Miss Jefferson County crowned

March 08, 1997

By KATE COLEMAN

Staff Writer

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Megan McKenery was crowned Miss Jefferson County 1997 before a crowd of about 300 at Wright Denny Elementary School Saturday night.

McKenery, a 19-year-old freshman at Shepherd College, performed a dramatic monologue from "'Night, Mother.''

For her portrayal of the mother of a woman about to commit suicide, McKenery was awarded the competition's $100 talent scholarship.

McKenery, an elementary education major, is the daughter of Linda McCauley-Holtz and Richard McKenery.

"I feel wonderful," she said immediately after she was crowned. "How else could I feel?''

For McKenery's platform, preventing childhood abductions, she spoke of a self-protection program she has developed. She hopes to see "Blow Your Whistle'' introduced in schools.

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Before moving to Shepherdstown for college, McKenery lived in Romney, W.Va., where she was Miss Hampshire County 1996.

McKenery said that she learned much from her participation in the Miss West Virginia pageant last year.

She is looking forward to the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Pageant in June in Clarksburg: "This year I'm going for it.''

For winning the title Saturday night, McKenery received a $2,000 scholarship, a $500 Shepherd College Endowment Fund scholarship and a $1,200 wardrobe allowance.

Nine contestants competed in this year's pageant.

First runner-up was Laura Cluchey of Gerrardstown, W.Va., a 21-year-old senior communications major at Shepherd.

The daughter of Thomas and Sharon Cluchey played a trumpet solo for her talent competition. She received a $1,000 scholarship.

The second runner-up was Amy Jo Ropp of Martinsburg, W.Va., the daughter of Charles and Judy Ropp. She is a 21-year-old nursing student at Shepherd.

During the talent competition, she sang "Remember Me This Way.'' She received an $800 scholarship. She also won the $200 George E. Vickers Memorial Scholarship interview award.

Third runner-up was Cheryl Denise Hall of Charles Town, W.Va. A 24-year-old Shepherd College graduate, she is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Wyman E. Hall.

She sang "On My Own'' during the talent competition and received a $400 scholarship.

Each of the non-finalists won a $100 scholarship award.

The theme for Saturday's pageant was "Celebration." Production numbers included a medley featuring "Hey Mambo'' and "Spanish Eyes.''

Rob Perks, assistant band director at Jefferson High School, served as master of ceremonies.

Kari Anne Safford, Miss West Virginia 1996, co-hosted with Perks and also performed "Don't Cry for Me Argentina.''

Other performers included Kevin Johnson, Larry Foster, former Miss Jefferson County Dawn Renae Rix, and the Miss Jefferson County Dancers - Susan Dressler, Amy Puller and Beth Waters.

The pageant was sponsored by Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

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