Miss Metro West and Outstanding Teen also crowned

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: BEN WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY - Twila Tschan, 24, is Miss Washington County. Elizabeth Denny, 23, is Miss Metro West. Kennedy Ho, 16, is Miss Washington Countys Outstanding Teen.Three young women with ties to Washington County were crowned Saturday evening, advancing them to the Miss Oregon pageant in Seaside June 21 to 28.

Elizabeth Denny, 23, was crowned Miss Metro West 2014 and Twila Tschan, 24, won Miss Washington County 2014; both women were awarded $500 scholarships.

First runner-up was Ryann Jack, 20, who won a $100 scholarship.

Also crowned that evening was Sunset High School sophomore Kennedy Ho, 16, who won Washington County’s Outstanding Teen 2014 and a $500 scholarship.

The interview segment of the pageant was held in the morning at the Beaverton Community Center; the interview counted for 25 percent of the total score.

The evening pageant was held at BodyVox in Northwest Portland, where all 10 contestants competed in evening wear, talent, lifestyle and fitness, for the three teen contestants, and swimsuit for the older contestants. The scores were then compiled by an auditor to determine the winners.

All the contestants also answered an on-stage question about their platforms or issues they are passionate about.

In order to compete for Miss Washington County, contestants had to live, work or attend school in the county; for Miss Metro West, contestants had to live, work or attend school in the Portland-metro area, west of the Willamette River; and to compete for the teen title, girls had to live in and attend school in Washington County.

The Miss Washington County Scholarship Organization is affiliated with the Miss America program, which is the world’s largest scholarship organization for young women, awarding $45 million in scholarships every year.

The winners:

Elizabeth Denny is a junior at Portland State University, majoring in communications. For her talent segment she sang an aria entitled “Come Raggio De Sol.” She wore a flowing teal dress with a sequined neckpiece for the evening gown competition and answered an on-stage question relating to her platform of suicide prevention.

She was excited when she heard her name called, and will spend her time between now and the pageant in Seaside “fine tuning” her talent and working on her interview skills and physical fitness.

Twila Tschan has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of South Alabama, and hopes to attend graduate school and eventually become a U.S. Foreign Service officer in public diplomacy. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: BEN WOOD PHOTOGRAPHY - Bridgette Wallace, Miss Washington Countys Outstanding Teen 2013, crowns Sunset High School's Kennedy Ho.

She sang “Feeling Good,” for the talent portion of the competition, wore a scarlet dress with an open back for the evening gown segment and answered an on-stage question about her platform: empowering survivors through the Look Good, Feel Better program. Tschan, who is from Newberg, is herself a cancer survivor, who was diagnosed in 2011 with a sarcoma located near her spine.

“This is really special to me, because Washington County is an amazing county to be a part of; it is the heart of Oregon.”

Ryann Jack, the first runner-up, is a student at Portland State University, majoring in communications. She wore an emerald green dress with sequin accents, played a piece entitled “Waterfall” on the piano for her talent and answered an on-stage question about her platform, domestic violence awareness.

Kennedy Ho, who won the teen competition, wore a strapless royal blue evening gown, performed a contemporary dance to “I Won’t Give Up” and answered an on-stage question about raising awareness of frontotemporal degeneration. Her grandmother was diagnosed with that disease, which results in progressive damage to the anterior temporal and/or frontal lobes of the brain.

“I was shocked. This was my first pageant, and I didn’t expect to win, so this is a nice surprise,” she said, adding that she will be working on her interview skills and perfecting a new talent routine before she competes at the Miss Oregon pageant in Seaside.

Next steps

“I was thrilled with the results, although any of the contestants would have been good title holders,” said Jen Moser, executive director of the nonprofit Miss Washington County Scholarship Organization. She said all three young women will immediately begin making appearances throughout the county, supporting Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and giving presentations about their platforms.

Tracey Lortz was the producer for the show. “We had a phenomenal venue and an amazing show. We had an incredible group of young women,” she said.

Teen contestant Arianna Webb, a 15-year-old student at Westview High School, won the People’s Choice award and the Build-Your-Own Scholarship award, for a total of $403 in scholarship money.

Ho and Allison Burke, a miss contestant, won most photogenic awards, chosen by the judges; Burke also won Miss Congeniality for miss contestants and the Director’s award, which comes with a $250 scholarship.

Brensley Parton, 12, a student at the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, won the teen congeniality award. And Sheena Jezzlyn Dass, a miss contestant, won the Children’s Miracle Hospital Miracle Maker award; the funds she raised will go to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

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