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Orientation held for Washington Co. pageants

January 17, 2008

Orientation for contestants for the 2008 Miss Washington County and Miss Washington County Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant was held at The Plaza Hotel in Hagerstown on Saturday, Jan. 5.

In addition to having their photos taken, contestants received information about the Miss Washington County-Miss Western Maryland Scholarship Foundation, the duties of Miss Washington County and Miss Washington County Outstanding Teen, scholarship details, code of ethics, standards of behavior and the phases of competition that include talent, a 10-minute personal interview with the judges, physical fitness in swimwear, evening wear and on-stage question. Other topics covered included the contestant platform which is a topic, cause, or other community service issue of special interest to the contestant, the rehearsal schedule and the actual production.

Specials guests were Miss Washington County 2007 Whitney Colombo, Miss Western Maryland 2007 Sara Duncan, and Miss Western Maryland Outstanding Teen 2007 Audreanna Colombo. All three shared their experiences over the past year with special mention made of the scholarships earned, valuable experiences in improving their public speaking skills, the relationships formed with other contestants, board members and the community, as well as the "just for fun" appearances.

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A separate panel of judges has been secured for the Miss and Teen contestants. The judge's panels are made up of a combination of judges who are certified in judging for the Miss America Organization, individuals with experience in the arts, and local community and business leaders with an interest in helping the young women of the community further their education.

The Miss Washington County-Miss Western Maryland Scholarship Foundation is dedicated to providing scholarships to the area's brightest and most talented young women ages 17 to 24. Contestants for the title of outstanding teen are ages 14 to 17. In 2007 the Foundation awarded more than $6,000 in cash scholarships.

The 2008 scholarship pageant will be held on Saturday Feb. 16, at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theatre at 7 p.m. At press time, Miss Washington County Executive Director Denise Apple reported that eight contestants had registered to compete for the title of Miss Washington County 2008. Teen Executive Director Barbara Carson noted that four contestants had registered to compete for the title of Miss Washington County Outstanding Teen.

For ticket information, call 301-790-4923. For additional information about the program or to make a scholarship donation send your request to Miss Washington County-Miss Western Maryland Scholarship Foundation c/o Julie Schimmel, 13813 Woodland Heights Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

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