By MIKE CHAIKEN
There are two new faces in the Miss Connecticut Scholarship pageant system and a veteran Miss Southington to boot.
Jennifer Binversie, who was Miss Southington two years ago, was awarded the title again on Saturday at Derynoski School at the Miss Southington Scholarship pageant. Another veteran of the Miss Connecticut system, Alyssa Anderson, was crowned Miss Plantsville.
Both teen winners are newcomers to titles. Gabrielle Sturgeon, competing in her first ever pageant, won Miss Southington’s Outstanding Teen. Alyssa Daly also won her first ever title as she was crowned Miss Plantsville’s Outstanding Teen.
Contestants were scored in several categories: a private interview with judges, talent, lifestyle and fitness, an on-stage question, and evening gown.
“I’m very excited to be representing… Southington for a second time,” said Binversie after the pageant. “I’m very much excited to go to the state pageant and put my best forward and represent… Southington to the best of my ability.”
As the year proceeds, Binversie said she can’t wait to return to this year’s Apple Harvest Festival. “It’s what Southington’s known for.” Binversie, who did ballet for her talent entry in the pageant, also said she is looking forward to making an appearance as Miss Southington at New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas.
Anderson, the new Miss Plantsville, said, “I’m feeling so honored, so blessed. I’m just so happy to be Miss Plantsville 2016.” She said she is looking forward to “all of the appearances and Miss Connecticut, for sure. I’m ready to put my best foot forward and just make Plantsville proud.”
Sturgeon said after the crowning, “I’m feeling blessed and ecstatic. This is my first ever teen pageant I’ve competed in. I didn’t think I’d get anything. I just went for the experience. Winning Miss Southington’s Outstanding Teen 2016 is really an honor.”
However, Sturgeon is no stranger to pageants. Her sister Danielle competed in the Miss and Outstanding Teen pageants. “She came home from college. She did a lot of mock interviews (with me). She gave me this dress. She did so much for me. And I’m so thankful for that.”
Now that she won the title, Sturgeon said, “I’m looking forward to going to all of the appearances… and to present my platform (‘Kids for Kids, Making a Better Future for the Kids’) to all the dance studios.”
After the crown and sash were awarded to her, Daly said, “I’m feeling very excited and overwhelmed.” As for the next year, she said she was looking forward to “Just everything, the whole experience.”
Other awards presented on Saturday were:
First runner-up Miss: Jillian Duffy.
First runner-up Outstanding Teen: Serena Charbonneau.
Miss Congeniality Miss: Alyssa Anderson.
Miss Congeniality Outstanding Teen: Kristina Rizzardi.
Community service Outstanding Teen: Serena Charbonneau.
Most ads sold: Jillian Duffy.
Also competing in the Miss category were: Natascia Simone, Amanda Maruco, Alexandra Gianelli, Kelsey Matthews, and Emily Borne.
Other contestants in the Outstanding Teen category were Sarah Stanford and Jaymie Bianca.
Photos by MIKE CHAIKEN
(Click to enlarge)