HAMILTON - The 35th annual Miss Hamilton Pageant culminated in the crowning of Lauren Reaves of Alexandria as the 2019 Miss Hamilton, as well as showcasing dynamic performances from outgoing titleholders--2018 Miss Hamilton Bethany Knight and 2018 Miss Outstanding Teen Meg Bowen.
The pageant, which took place in the Bevill State Community College - Hamilton Campus Auditorium on Sunday, Sept. 30, had a theme that paid tribute to Broadway, “I Dreamed a Dream.”
Reaves stuns at pageant
According to Miss Hamilton Pageant Board of Directors Chair Tracey Carter, Reaves performed a charismatic dance routine to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” while playing the flute.
Reaves, 20, is a junior at Jacksonville State University, pursuing a bachelors degree in psychology.
For her platform, Reaves chose “Lights and Sirens for Autism,” which addresses the important issues that arise when individuals with autism are involved in emergency situations.
Reaves also plans to compete in the Miss Alabama Pageant in Birmingham in June.
Schatzline named Miss Outstanding Teen
Destiny Shatzline, 16, Tuscaloosa, was crowned as Hamilton’s Miss Outstanding Teen.
Schatzline performed a solo of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the talent competition, which Carter said captivated the audience.
Schatzline’s platform, “Show Some Love,” addresses bullying in elementary school students.
Schatzline plans to compete in Alabama’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Alabaster in March.
The Hamilton pageant has only featured outstanding teen winners for three years, beginning in 2016.
Carter said she was pleased with this year’s pageant results.
“We are always working to produce a quality pageant that provides the best opportunities for young women and to promote our community.
“It is always exciting to work with such talented and dedicated young women,” said Carter.
Josie Taylor, a 7-year-old second-grader at Hamilton Elementary School, was named as the Rising Star at the pageant.
The Rising Star is part of a mentorship program, according to Carter, for young girls from ages 7 - 12, who will be able to interact with both Reaves and Schatzline as mentors throughout the year.
As the Rising Star, Taylor will attend both the state Outstanding Teen competition and the Miss Alabama Pageant with the Hamilton winners.
Knight and Bowen end their reign in song
Outgoing titleholders for 2018, Bethany Knight and Meg Bowen, performed well-known Broadway songs before passing their crowns along to the new winners.
Knight performed Phantom of the Opera’s “Think of Me” and Bowen performed “A New Life” from Broadway’s Jekyll and Hyde.
Bowen and Knight then teamed up for a duet from Broadway’s famous Wicked, singing “For Good” together.
“They did phenomenal,” said Carter. “Their duet together absolutely gave me chills. It was wonderful. It really stood out to me.”
An open pageant
For the second time ever in its 35-year legacy, the Miss Hamilton Pageant was open to contestants from anywhere in the state.
According to Carter, this change happened because the pageant did not have enough local entries.
Carter said that she and the pageant board would do everything in their power to promote the pageant to local young women and wished to give as many young women as possible the pageant’s scholarship opportunities.
Although the pageant winners hailed from other areas in the state, Carter said that the pageant winners will represent Hamilton and be involved in several functions throughout the year.
“Each titleholder commits to preparing for her state competition, enacting her platform service project, and promoting the community she represents. Both Lauren and Destiny will be appearing at over a dozen events in Hamilton throughout the year,” Carter said.
The pageant was hosted by the Miss Hamilton Pageant board of directors.
See complete story in the Journal Record.