Pageants will be held at LOHS auditorium March 10

Two new queens will be crowned March 10 as the Mrs. Oregon and Mrs. Washington International Pageants get under way at Lake Oswego High School auditorium at 7 p.m. The annual pageant celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of married women in Oregon and Washington.

'We are committed to providing a fair, honest program and the highest quality pageant production for an enjoyable, exciting experience for everyone involved,' said Leslee Nardini, executive director of Mrs. Oregon and Washington International Pageants. 'We have a dedicated staff of volunteers with a combined total of more than 50 years experience in all aspects of pageantry.'

Ten woman will compete for Mrs. Oregon International while seven are vying for Mrs. Washington International.

Tickets to the event are $20 general admission or $25 for reserved seating and include a program book and reception following the pageant. They can be purchased online at or at the door.

Contestants are judged on interviews, evening gown competition and physical fitness.

Personal and onstage interviews account for 50 percent of the contestants' total score. Contestants have a five-minute interview with each of the five judges, followed by an onstage interview. Judges look for poise, beauty, confidence, sincerity, knowledge of platform and the ability to articulate ideas clearly.

The evening gown competition accounts for 25 percent of the contestants' total score. The required wardrobe is a full length evening gown. Contestants are escorted by their husbands, who must wear tuxedos or dress uniform for those serving in the military. The judges are looking for stage presence, elegance, beauty, posture, confidence and grace.

The fitness competition accounts for 25 percent of the total score. Judges are looking for poise, stage presence, confidence, energy and overall level of physical fitness.

'The mission of our pageant is to give women of all ages an opportunity to grow and become better people,' said Nardini on the pageant's website. 'We emphasize inner beauty, good character and service to otherwise. We celebrate the accomplishments of dynamic women who are making a positive difference in their communities. We strive to present feminine beauty in a healthy, positive manner. We believe that a confident, happy woman is a beautiful woman.'

The current Mrs. Oregon International is Kimberlee Buckingham. She is passionate about helping women to be their very best and teaches people to 'lead with grace' through image consulting, etiquette and leadership skills. She is co-author of the book, 'My Style, My Way.' During her reign she chose to promote the Dress for Success program.

Laura Hunter is the reigning Mrs. Washington International. She is an award-winning photographer, author, actress and model. As a life-long advocate for fitness, she has spent the past year promoting her platform 'Family Fitness - Healthy Choices for Strong Families.'

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