By MIKE CHAIKEN
MASHANTUCKET— So close.
Southington almost had a repeat performance at this year’s Mrs. Connecticut America pageant at Foxwoods Resort Casino Saturday night.
The evening was the last hurrah of Southington’s Kimberly Beaudoin, the 2014 Mrs. Connecticut America, who was giving up her crown after a year of service.
And at the end of the evening, it looked as if she would be crowning her best friend, Southington’s Allyson Genovese-Naughton as her successor.
Genovese-Naughton, competing as Mrs. Plantsville America, was one of the final two women standing center stage at the end of the night, waiting to learn who would be the next Mrs. Connecticut America. .She held the hands of the other woman in the top two, Izabela O’Brien, Mrs. Greenwich, to see who the judges had crowned.
However, Genovese-Naughton—who had a large and vocal group of supporters—lost the crown to O’Brien after a day of private interviews with judges, swimsuit and evening gown competitions, and a final on-stage question.
The top five at Saturday’s pageant were, in order, O’Brien, Genovese-Naughton, Alaina Kindelan, Meghan McKee, and Elaine LaBanca.
Genovese-Naughton wasn’t the only representative from central Connecticut competing at Foxwoods. Also representing the area were Southington’s Amy Wernicki (a Bristol Eastern High School teacher competing as Mrs. Bristol) and Beth DeLuco (competing as Mrs. Southington), and Bristol’s Jessica Haggett (competing as Mrs. Hartford County).
Wernicki, a former Miss Mum, won the non-finalist interview award at the pageant.
Saturday’s pageant was also the opportunity for Beaudoin to say her farewells. The Mrs. Connecticut America 2014, who spent most of the day leading up to the pageant taking selfies with the contestants and guests, said during her on-stage remarks, “Being able to represent Connecticut was beyond anything I could have imagined. My community came out and supported me at so many different things, I was just blown away by the love and compassion my community and state had for me. I did 65 appearances throughout my reign.” She also praised her family for their support and noted how her own children were following in her footsteps by finding ways to serve the community.
By MIKE CHAIKEN