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Contestants vie for Miss Winnipesaukee, Sunapee titles

Brooke Mills is crowned Miss Winnipesaukee by last year's Miss Winnipesaukee, Amanda Ledoux. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2018
Crowns and sashes were presented and thousands in scholarship money was awarded during the 94th annual Miss Winnipesaukee competition.

On Sunday night, nine competed for the title of Miss Winnipesaukee and nine vied for the titles of Miss Winnipseaukee's Outstanding Teen and Miss Lake Sunapee Region's Outstanding Teen during a competition at Gunstock.

Miss Winnipesaukee has been a tradition since 1925. After years of languishing, it was taken up by the Lawton Family of Funspot in the 1960's and family member Tina Gebhardt serves as co-director with Gary Vincent.

The competition also included the title for Miss Lake Sunapee Region's Outstanding Teen ss the Miss Lake Sunapee competition takes place in November, the Teen competition takes place at an earlier time during a neighboring competition so the titleholder has more time to prepare for the Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen competition in February.

All of these programs are part of the Miss America program and the winners will go onto compete for Miss New Hampshire and Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen respectively.

Katie Smith of Meredith, Brooke Mills of Concord, Meghan Soucy of Meredith, Amelia Herring of Allenstown, Kylee Ann Drew of Gilford, Kayla Jutras of Manchester, Ashley Marsh of Laconia, Emma Colen of Nottingham, and Samantha Mackes of Belmont all competed for the title of Miss Winnipesaukee.

Heather Dearborn, Emily Jenkins, Kerrin Shea, Maya Brennan, Alanna Tobin, Dylan Nourse, Mary Kate Varney, Abigail Conard, and Reilly O'Neil competed for the title of Miss Winnipesaukee Outstanding Teen and Miss Sunapee Region's Outstanding Teen.

The competitors all took part in the Talent, Evening Wear, and the Onstage Question. Outstanding Teen contestants took part in a Fitness Routine and the Miss competitors did Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimwear. This will be the last year of the swimsuit category, as the Miss America organization will be discontinuing this category.

The title of Miss Winnipesaukee and a $10,000 scholarship went to Brooke Mills of Concord who currently lives in Gilford.

Mills' platform is "Lessen the Impact: Concussion Awareness."

Mills did a vocal performance of "I Put a Spell on You" for the talent competition.

For the Onstage Question she was asked about the Miss America Foundation's decision to not have a swimsuit competition. She answered that physical fitness is important for young women and that is something contestants should be judged for even if it isn't in the form of a swimsuit competition.

"Hopefully, a fitness program will be added into the competition," Mills said.

Mills said winning has long been a dream of hers and it was incredible to get the title.

"I'm excited to represent the area," Mills said.

The title of Miss Winnipesaukee's Outstanding Teen was presented to Abigail Conard of Amherst.

Conard is a dancer, doing a lyrical dance for the talent portion. Her platform was "Dancers at Heart" raising money for Boston Children's Hospital through dance shows. She said in her onstage interview that her goal is to raise $100,000 by Dec. 31, 2019. She said she was able to raise $20,000 in a benefit show in the past year and more benefits are planned.

"I am confident that we will be able to raise $100,000," Conard said.

Conard said she was in shock to learn she won the title and said she can't wait to start the year and go into the Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen competition.

Conard also won a $100 scholarship for Top Teen Talent and was the winner of the Teen People's Choice.

Alanna Tobin of Merrimack was presented the title of Miss Lake Sunapee Region's Outstanding Teen.

Tobin's platform is "Get on Your Feet" and she was asked in her onstage interview how she plans to work with elementary school kids on fitness. She said she will encourage children to find a physical activity they enjoy. She will also go into the local community and work with kids to find something they enjoy doing to keep physically fit.

Tobin said it was really exciting to get the title.

"I'm looking forward to being able to volunteer in the community and start something new," Tobin said.

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Martin Lord Osman
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