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New Miss Maryland ready for crowning year

June 26, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Carlie Colella of Hagerstown was named Miss Maryland 2011 Saturday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Carlie Colella was planning to go to Cape May, N.J., this holiday weekend to see her boyfriend march with his fellow Coast Guard boot campers in a Fourth of July parade.

Instead, Colella, 20, of Hagerstown, will have a different parade to attend and she won’t be sitting on the sidelines.
As the newly crowned Miss Maryland, Colella’s first big appearance will be in the Fourth of July parade in Washington, D.C.

“It was definitely a fun and new experience, and I learned a lot about myself and how much the program has to offer young women,” Colella said of the pageant experience.

This past week’s Miss Maryland pageant, with the crowning on Saturday night at The Maryland Theatre, was only Colella’s third pageant.

The 2008 North Hagerstown High graduate learned about the Miss Frederick (Md.) pageant through the financial aid office at Hood College, where she will be a senior this fall.

“I needed some scholarship money,” she said.

Colella didn’t place or win in that scholarship pageant, but Miss Maryland board member Courtney Thomas called her the next day to tell her about a pageant the following weekend.

“So I just figured I’d give it another shot,” said Colella, who was crowned Miss Central Maryland in Joppa, Md.

Thomas, who was the field director for the Miss Frederick pageant, said that pageant featured several talented dancers and she contacted contestants to make them aware of a regional pageant in Joppa, at which three titles were decided.

Colella said she did not compete in the Miss Washington County/Miss Western Maryland pageant because she didn’t learn about it until it was over. Miss Central Maryland was open to contestants statewide.

With the state win at The Maryland Theatre, Colella won a $10,000 scholarship. She also will receive two $100 scholarships for being named rookie of the year and winning the preliminary swimsuit competition for her group, she said.

Miss Maryland Director Sherry Rush said Colella also was awarded a $3,000 fox fur, donated by the Maryland Fur Trappers Association.

The money will help her pay college loans, said Colella, who is studying business marketing with a minor in public relations. Colella, who has a summer job at Bath & Body Works at Hagerstown Premium Outlets, said she hopes to go into event planning after graduation.

Her platform for the pageant was “Empowerment of Women: Creating an Equal Opportunity for Success.”

Colella said she worked with the Baltimore chapter of Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that provides clothing and career-development tools to economically disadvantaged women for interviews.

With the economy the way it is and being a business major, Colella said she wanted to help provide people equal opportunities, no matter their socioeconomic background.

For the talent competition, she performed a contemporary dance to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”

Colella said she started taking dance lessons around the age of 3, and took lessons on and off until her senior year of high school. She was a student at Ballet and All That Jazz in Hagerstown, studying ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop.

She attended Lincolnshire Elementary School and Springfield Middle School in Williamsport before moving from the Halfway Park area to Hagerstown’s North End.

Colella played soccer, and competed in indoor and outdoor track at North High. She is on Hood’s soccer team.

She is the daughter of Linda Colella of Hagerstown.

“I tell you it’s a bit overwhelming, but it’s exciting at the same time,” Linda Colella said Sunday.

Carlie Colella said she will be promoting the Miss Maryland organization, raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network and getting ready for the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas in January.

The Miss America pageant will be broadcast on NBC, Rush said.

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