The beauties vying for the title of Miss New York are quick to attest that if only you believe in yourself, dreams do indeed turn into reality.
The news that Staten Island had been selected as the new home of the Miss New York State Scholarship Pageant set pulses racing. Now it’s June and the expectation is at a fever pitch: The spectacular production will be staged at the splendid St. George Theatre — its permanent venue — on June 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Steeped in tradition, the 90-year-old pageant serves as a preliminary to the legendary Miss America Pageant and had been formerly produced in the upstate towns of Olean and Watertown before relocating to Long Island and Albany.
A total of 22 contestants, including representatives of upstate counties, will compete for the crown. Note that another 17 young lovelies will vie for the title of Miss New York Outstanding Teen on Sunday, June 19, at 2:30 p.m., also at the theater.
Serving as host for the Miss New York Pageant will be Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, whose platform focused on eating disorders and who has begun her own foundation to provide treatment scholarships for women so struggling.
Claire Buffie, the reigning Miss New York, will be on hand to crown her successor. Miss Buffie has gained national recognition for her platform — Straight for Equality, Let’s Talk. She is the first contestant in the history of the Miss America Pageant to advocate for the rights of the LGBT community. Also, during her year traveling the state, she advanced the cause of non-bullying in schools.
Pageant winners will represent the Empire State in their respective national competitions, including the Miss America Pageant set for January.
Three of the beauties in contention for the title of Miss New York are Islanders: Maria DeSantis, Miss Staten Island, Amanda Lee Alicea, Miss Richmond County, and Kimberly Cantoni, Miss Liberty. In addition, Miss Brooklyn, Christina Moore, is a student at Wagner College.
Hailing from the Island in the teen competition are Shelly Jain, Miss New York City Outstanding Teen, and her sister, Shreya Jain, Miss Staten Island Teen, as well as Victoria Dugay, Miss Richmond County Teen.
Tuesday and Wednesday of pageant week will see contestants fulfill myriad appointments and appearances at various venues in the borough. Friday evening will see the Miss New York competitors participate in a preliminary competition at 7:30 p.m. at the St. George Theatre.
The Miss America Organization is the nation’s leading scholarship provider for women, awarding more than $45 million annually.
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster. For ticket information and prices kindly telephone the St. George Theatre Box Office at 718-442-2900 or visit www.missny.org/2011Pageant.