Pageants crown a pair of winners

February 03, 2001

Pageants crown a pair of winners

By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Jessie Stroech was crowned Miss Eastern Panhandle and Whitney Whittaker received the Miss Mountain State title Saturday night at Apollo Civic Theatre.

Stroech, of Kearneysville, W.Va., is an 18-year-old senior at Jefferson High School. She performed a ballet en pointe from "Don Quixote" in the talent portion of Saturday's competition and received $100 for having the highest talent score and $100 for having the highest score in the swimsuit competition.

She is the daughter of Kenneth and Sandra Stroech.

"I am so surprised. I am speechless," she said immediately after the crowning.

For winning the Miss Eastern Panhandle title Saturday night, Stroech received a $1,500 cash scholarship, a $500 Shepherd College Foundation Scholarship, a $300 gift certificate from Martinsburg Bridal Outlet, a 3-month membership to Gold's Gym, tanning sessions from Fashion Nails of Charles Town and a BeautiControl Cosmetics gift certificate.


"Definitely surprised," said Whittaker after winning the Miss Mountain State title.

A 17-year-old senior at Jefferson High School, Whittaker received a $750 cash scholarship and tanning sessions from Fashion Nails of Charles Town.

During the talent competition, she presented a baton twirling routine to "Great Balls of Fire."

Whittaker also received an Outstanding Community Service Award and a $200 scholarship as the contestant who has made the biggest contribution to her community through volunteerism.

She is the daughter of Charles Whittaker Jr. and Brenda Whittaker.

Fourteen contestants competed for the Miss Eastern Panhandle and Miss Mountain State crowns, which were presented by Lane McCarron, Miss Potomac Highlands 2000. Stroech and Whittaker will have a chance to compete in the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Pageant June 21-23 in Clarksburg, W.Va.

First runner-up was Sheri Lynn Grippo of Charles Town, W.Va., a 19-year-old freshman at West Virginia University. She is the daughter of Mario Grippo and Doris Grippo. She received a $500 scholarship and $100 for winning the interview competition.

The second runner-up award went to Tiffany Lawrence of Shepherdstown, W.Va., the daughter of William (Tony) Lawrence and Cheryl Lawrence. She is an 18-year-old freshman at Shepherd College. She received a $400 scholarship.

Ashley McPherson, an 18-year-old freshman at Shepherd College, was named third runner-up. She is the daughter of Samuel McPherson and Barbara Spicher. She received a $300 scholarship.

Samantha Walters received the $100 nonfinalist interview scholarship.

Devon Dickson, Jeneva Wheeler and Jessica White received $100 nonfinalist talent scholarships.

Mrs. Martinsburg 2000 Milly Shepherd was mistress of ceremonies.

Performers included Miss Berkeley County 2001 Toni Rickard, McCarron, Jessica Dickinson, Jeff Herbst, Bobby Brewster and Thad Reid, John Bryant, R.B. Seem, J.C. Bryant and Ryan Banks, the Miss Eastern Panhandle Dancers.

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