MU student wins the crown

By Ben Marshall

MEXICO, Mo.—A Columbia woman, Simone Esters, was crowned Friday night as the new Miss Missouri at the culmination of the pageant’s 15th anniversary celebration of being held in Mexico.

Simone Esters is the daughter of Julie Fornadel of Hermitage, Pa. and Jeff Esters of Coconut Creek, Fla. Simone is a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her platform, “Leave your MARK” focuses on mentoring youth in our Missouri.

As Miss Missouri, she will receive a $14,000 scholarship, as well as an official crown; wardrobe from the Miss Missouri Scholarship Program, Royal We, Rebekah Lane, Boston Proper, and Pink Magnolia; a fur jacket and photos from the Missouri Trapper’s Association and Fur Arts Inc.; accessories from Melody’s Quality Jewelry; a training course; talent consultation with Bill Wolfe and more.

Next week, as the new Miss Missouri, Esters will begin preparations for the Miss America Stage

The runners-up were:

First runner up and winner of a $6,000 scholarship: Miss Forest Park, Debrielle Patee-Merrill of Maryville. She is the daughter of David and Jean Merrill.

Second runner up and winner of a $5,000 scholarship: Miss Fleur de Lis, Holly Enowski of Eldon. She is the daughter of Bob and Lisa Enowski.

Third runner up and winner of a $4,000 scholarship: Miss Branson, Chelsea Arnold of Branson. She is the daughter of Paige Schmidt.

Fourth runner up and winner of a $3,000 scholarship: Miss Springfield, Olivia Henson of Belton. She is the daughter of Anthony and Tricia Henson.

The Miss Missouri Scholarship Pageant is one of the largest providers of scholarships to young women in the state. This year, the organization awarded $85,000 in scholarships between the Miss and Outstanding Teen programs.

MISS OUTSTANDING TEEN

A Bolivar teen took home the title of Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Friday at Missouri Military Academy. After a week of preliminary competition in fitness, talent and interviews, the judges crowned Miss Branson’s Outstanding Teen Shae Smith.

The 15-year-old is the daughter of Mark and Angie Smith. Shae is a student at Bolivar High School. For her talent, she performed a jazz dance to the song, “September” and her platform encourages people from across the state of Missouri to focus on donating small amounts to The Children’s Miracle Network and is called, “One Miracle at a Time, One Dollar at a Time.”

As Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen, Smith will receive a $6,000 scholarship as well as a prize package that includes the official crown, sash, wardrobe allowance, travel allowance to Miss America, talent consultations and several wardrobe sponsors: The Royal WE, Serendipity, and Natalie M.

Next week, she will begin preparations for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando, held later this summer.

Other top-place finishers in the pageant include:

First runner up: Miss Fleur de Lis’ Outstanding Teen Halie Hebron of O’Fallon. She is the daughter of Mark and Michele Hebron. She is a student at St. Dominic High School. Halie performed a tap dance for her talent. Her platform, “Art RX” focuses on using art to help reduce stress and improve overall mental health.

Second runner up: Miss Gateway St. Louis’ Outstanding Teen Mallory Sublette of Palmyra. She is the daughter of Brandon and Jessica Sublette. Mallory is a student at Palmyra High School. She performed a drum solo to a Queen medley in the preliminary talent competition. Her platform, “Drop and Give Me 20,” encourages Missouri residents to become active for at least 20 minutes per day.

Third runner up: Miss Heart of the Ozarks’ Outstanding Teen Ashley Berry of Clinton. Ashley is the daughter of Mark and Amy Berry. She is a student at Clinton High School. Ashley performed a jazz dance for her talent. Her platform, “Teens in Politics #PoliticalGirl,” encourages Missouri teens to start researching political issues so they can be informed voters at the age of 18.

Fourth runner up: Miss Metro St. Louis’ Outstanding Teen Abbie Mueller of St. Louis. She is the daughter of Brandan and Amanda Mueller. Abbie is a student at the Whitfield School. She performed a vocal during the talent competition. Abbie’s platform, “Self-ValYOU: Promoting Positive Personal Imagery,” focuses on change internal dialogue from negative into positive thoughts.

The Miss Missouri Scholarship Organization is one of the largest providers of scholarships to young women in the state. This year, the organization will award $85,000 in scholarships between the Miss and Outstanding Teen programs. The Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Class of 2019 received $29,000 in scholarships.

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