Rachel Ellsworth wins Miss Maryland crown

June 26, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

HAGERSTOWN - Mouthing "Thank you so much" to The Maryland Theatre audience and judges, Miss Western Maryland Rachel Ellsworth took her victory lap Saturday night crowned as Miss Maryland 2005.

"I'm speechless," Ellsworth said after the announcement. "I never thought I'd say that."

Ellsworth's platform is diabetes awareness and she hopes to take the message of creating healthy lifestyles into Maryland's schools.

With her title, Ellsworth will compete in the Miss America Pageant later this year. She also wins a $14,000 scholarship, a fox fur coat presented by Maryland Fur Trappers Inc. and a car for the year donated by Dual Highway Motors Inc. She receives a $1,100 fashion award from the Miss America Organization, a $1,000 portfolio and portrait package from Photography by Dale, a $600 custom-designed crown ring from Elegance Unlimited and a year of massages from Renaissance Massage.

As first runner-up, Miss Caroline Summerfest Courtney Ferris will go on to compete in the National Sweetheart Pageant in Hoopeston, Ill. She also wins a $5,000 scholarship.


Miss Southern Maryland Kelly George won a $4,000 scholarship as second runner-up. Miss Frostburg Leah Ledbetter was third runner-up and won a $2,500 scholarship, and Miss Allegany County Autumn Smith was named fourth runner-up, receiving a $2,000 scholarship.

Scholarship awards in several other categories also were handed out to contestants Saturday and this morning.

Five semifinalists received a $1,000 scholarship, and $500 scholarships were given to 12 nonfinalist contestants. Two nonfinalist talent awards went to Miss Patuxent Elizabeth Borowsky for her original piano composition and Miss Annapolis Ashley Windle for her violin performance. Both received an additional $250 scholarship.

In total, the Miss Maryland Scholarship Organization awarded approximately $42,000 in scholarships to contestants this past week. Each contestant received a $500 scholarship for competing.

Saturday's crowning of Miss Maryland 2005 capped off a week of pageant activities. The 22 Miss Maryland contestants competed Wednesday and Thursday nights before audiences at The Maryland Theatre. Preliminary winners included Miss Annapolis Ashley Windle, Miss Patuxent Elizabeth Borowsky and Miss Allegany Autumn Smith in talent; and Miss Tidewater Jennifer Witowski, Miss Greater Baltimore Courtney Gebhard and Miss Western Maryland Rachel Ellsworth in the swimsuit competition.

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