Pageant winner takes wing

March 14, 2001

Pageant winner takes wing


Christina McAllisterPhoto: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

WILLIAMSPORT - To Miss Western Maryland Christina McAllister, beauty is ageless.

The Williamsport High School graduate said her passion for building relationships between young people and senior citizens prompted her, in part, to participate Feb. 24 in the Miss Washington County and Miss Western Maryland Scholarship Pageant in Hagerstown.

A pageant win offers " a lot of opportunities like scholarships and the chance to work with my platform - and I'm very passionate about my platform," said McAllister, 18.

She spoke about the promotion of inter-generational programs.

Now a freshman at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., McAllister said she learned the importance of community service as a child when she began visiting area nursing homes with her mother.


"There are just so many rewards," she said. "You come out of there blessed with everything that person has to offer, all the experiences they have to share."

McAllister, who is the daughter of Ronald and Connie McAllister, spearheaded a nursing home visitation program for high school students through her work as chairwoman of the community service committee at Williamsport High.

She also serves on the outreach committee at St. James Brethren Church.

She saw the pageant as a springboard for promoting her platform and other types of community service in the community, she said.

As Miss Western Maryland, McAllister will be invited to speak to various groups about inter-generational programs. The talented vocalist, who was a member of the Williamsport High Show Choir and performed "Take These Wings" at the pageant, will sing at fund-raisers for charitable organizations, she said.

"It works well because I get to help with a lot of community services," McAllister said. "Anytime I'm benefiting others is good."

She will juggle her outreach work with a weekend waitress job and a full course load at Shepherd, where she is majoring in sociology and playing on the volleyball team.

McAllister was a member of the state champion Wildcats volleyball team in high school and was named the Class of 2000's Homecoming Queen.

She said her stage experience in the Sophisticats show choir and participation in the Homecoming Queen America Pageant gave her confidence to participate in her first scholarship pageant last month.

McAllister began to doubt her decision to enter the competition when she met more pageant-savvy contestants during dress rehearsal, but she regained her focus when "God reminded me of why I was there," she said.

"My life is led through God. I try to dedicate everything I do to Him," McAllister said. "I'd be mad at myself if I didn't take advantage of the opportunity."

As Miss Western Maryland, McAllister received a $1,500 scholarship, gifts from local merchants and the chance to participate in the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant. That competition will be held June 28-30 at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Miss Western Maryland will likely arrive in the 1986 Chevy S-10 pickup truck that she purchased from one of her senior citizen friends at Williamsport Retirement Village.

"It suits my personality," McAllister said. "It's comfortable and it works."

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