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Miss Crook County Scholarship Program Pageant set for Saturday
Shelby Case
   Central Oregonian
   Seven Crook County High School seniors will be vying for the titles of Miss Crook County and Miss Prineville this Saturday night.
   Kendra Miller, Brin McAtee, Rebecca Murphy, Maureen O' Doherty, Jaelynn Fleck, Elizabeth Hamlin and Kristi Jacobs are the contestants, according to Miss Crook County Scholarship Program Pageant Director Lexie Tombleson.
   "We have seven young women who have been working very hard for the program, so anyone who comes will have a very fun evening and their admission fee will contribute to scholarships for the girls," said Tombleson, who teaches French at CCHS.
   Tombleson said that although the program features all seniors this year, it is open to any woman up to the age of 24 who graduated from CCHS.
   There are several pageant contest categories.
   "The first category is private interview, where the young lady is interviewed by five judges," Tombleson said. "That's worth 40 percent (of the girl's total score)."
   The interview is conducted on the pageant morning.
   Then Saturday evening are the swimsuit competition and an evening gown category, which includes an onstage question about the girls' platforms. The same five judges will judge the evening program.
   Hamlin's platform is regarding the D.A.R.E. program and Fleck's is expanding the school's Americana Project. Jacob will be focusing on ways to promote more recreational activities in Prineville. McAtee is talking about the awareness of stress among teenagers, and Miller is focusing on promoting 4-H programs. Murphy is talking about the ROTC program and O'Doherty will speak about the Start Making a Reader Today effort, which is in elementary schools around Oregon.
   "All seven of them are beautiful young ladies, not only outside, but inside, which is very important," the director said. "It gives me great hope for the future to work with young people like they are, because they want to use their abilities to help and serve their communities."
   The two young women who are selected for Miss Crook County and Miss Prineville will later represent the area and their school at the Miss Oregon Pageant this summer in Seaside, and Miss Oregon is a preliminary event to Miss America.
   "The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarships to women in the world," Tombleson said. "The four ideals of the program are: Scholarship, Service, Style, Success. As the program helps young women achieve their goals, it also provides positive role models to younger women and girls. It is a program that I feel comfortable supporting. It really isn't 'just a beauty pageant.'"
   Tombleson said the Miss Crook County Scholarship show has been offered at CCHS since 2002, and she commented on the program's history, including Prineville Police Officer Dawn Jordan's involvement. Jordan was the previous director from 2002 to 2006.
   "She did an outstanding job of making the pageant a learning and positive experience for all of the contestants, and it's my desire to continue that example and legacy that Dawn started," Tombleson said.
   The competition will be this Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m. at the CCHS auditorium. Tickets are available at the door and cost $7 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children ages 12 and younger.