68°F
weather icon Clear

Leavitt crowned Miss Pahrump

After an arduous competition between 11 young women, professional judges from Las Vegas crowned Brittany Leavitt Miss Pahrump 2013 to a sold-out house on Saturday evening.

The pageant was held in the showroom at Saddle West Hotel and Casino.

Leavitt’s platform included a desire to start a Big Brother/Big Sister program here. She wanted to give back to her community. Her talent was playing the piano.

By participating, contestants for the 37th annual pageant were hoping to meet a number of personal goals from meeting new friends and gaining self-confidence to using the event to garner funding for college.

Director Debra Bowman said preparations for the pageant are exhausting but “the girls gain so much from it.”

“We begin preparing for this in May and while school is still in session, we only have Saturdays to practice.”

She said once students were available, the practices were held almost every day, graduating to total run through, “so we could pinpoint problems and work on those.”

Bowman said poise was the biggest issue for the young women.

The pageant has faced minor criticism from those fearing exploitation. Bowman said, “That’s the last thing we do here.”

Bowman has experienced what she refers to as “the pageant system” first- hand.

“I competed when I was younger. I lived in Boulder City and was recruited to compete for the Nevada spot in the Miss America Pageant. I wasn’t being recruited because I had a title. Anyone can enter the pageant.

“At that point, it becomes a beauty pageant. The contestants are expected to be a certain size with a certain body type.”

Drawing on that experience, Bowman said it’s the last thing she wanted for the pageant here.

“One reason we don’t do swimwear competitions is because this is not a beauty pageant. We won’t limit the competition because someone doesn’t fit a specific description.

“The closest thing we do to a beauty pageant is give an award for the most photogenic.”

She said the subject of a swimwear competition has come up at meetings in the past but she always says “no.”

Bowman said watching the girls gain self-esteem, self-confidence and poise is a reward in itself.

“It’s amazing to watch them grow as individuals, leave shyness behind and perform to an audience.”

“Some of our greatest successes come from those who don’t fit the stereotype,” Bowman said. “The judges know what they’re looking for and none of them look at the girls the same way.

“We’re always surprised at the results. We wish we could crown all of them.”

She said one thing explained to the girls when they enter the pageant is don’t be in it just to win. “If winning is all they’re in it for, we tell them ‘don’t do it.’”

Bowman said the pageant awards five places for each category.

Taking the award for most photogenic was Alicia Quiroz. The talent competition was won by Caeley Shoults with her jazz dance routine.

The formal and casual wear competitions were won by Hailey Mead and Leavitt took the interview along with the crown.

The first runner-up was won by Hailey Meads and second runner-up was Courtney Murphy. Miss Congeniality went to Kailey Murphy.

Bowman said the pageant directors also give an award to the contestant who has gained the most from her participation.

“We look for the girl who has gained self-esteem and confidence and who put forth the most effort. That girl was Jasmine Vill.”

Bowman said ticket sales will enable the queen and her court to go to Carson City and participate in the Nevada Day Parade. It will also allow them to attend the 1854 Ball in Virginia City.

The ball celebrates Nevada’s statehood and includes a reenactment of President Abraham Lincoln reading the proclamation.

THE LATEST
Got the best tacos in town? How to enter Pahrump Taco Fest 2024

Tastebuds are set to be dancing in delight as the Pahrump Taco Fest makes its much-anticipated return to the valley. There is still time for competitors to sign up for a chance at the coveted title of best tacos in town.

Youths can now remain in care of kin under foster care changes

The new change paves a path to allow family members who are caring for a child to access the same financial resources from the state as traditional foster care providers.

GALLERY: What you missed at the Community Baby Shower

The 3rd annual event included activities and games, such as face painting, Find the Baby and Don’t Say Bay-Bee, adding an element of fun.

Plan for medical waste treatment plant draws public outcry

A proposal by MediWaste Disposal LLC to bring a medical waste treatment facility to the valley has touched off a wave of public unrest, with a crowd of Pahrump residents flocking to the latest Nye County Commission meeting to express their displeasure.

3 motorcyclists killed in US 95 crash near Goldfield

Three motorcyclists who died in a crash along US 95 about 2 miles south of Goldfield last week have been identified as Benny Hall, 52, of Tonopah; Jeffery Hicks, 72, of Goldfield; and Frank Winkler, 54, of Linton, Ind.

How Pahrump is remembering its heroes this Memorial Day weekend

Though it has become widely known as the unofficial kickoff of summer, two local veterans’ organizations are helping ensure the real meaning of Memorial Day is not lost among the fun of pool parties and cookouts.

Groundbreaking set for new Tonopah elementary school

A ground-breaking ceremony is set for the construction of the new $25 million Tonopah Elementary School beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29

Nye schools seek retirees to fill some critical vacancies

Even as school officials announced the retirement of more than a dozen teachers and other personnel on Monday night, they hope some veteran workers and retirees will consider returning to fill essential roles in the district.