|3/27/2013 10:09:00 AM|
Mady Harris wins close competition for Distinguished Young Woman of Leavenworth
In one of the closest ever competitions for Distinguished Young Woman of Leavenworth, and before that Junior Miss, Mady Harris was selected as the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Leavenworth, beating out 10 others girls.
Photo by Reed Carlson, Icicle Valley Photography
Leavenworth’s new Distinguished Young Woman, Mady Harris, celebrates after winning the title March 18 at Cascade High School. From left, second alternate Kyla Parkins, Mady Harris, first alternate Madelaine Stubblefield. Note: Last week, we incorrectly identified the second alternate as Julien Wilder. We sincerely apologize for this mistake.
The program was held March 18 at Cascade High School.
"It really means a lot. Such an honor," Harris said. "I can't even explain it. My aunt and her daughter were Junior Misses. It is so exciting."
Harris's aunt, Margaret Marson, was herself a Junior Miss in Grandview, Wash. and her daughter, Meagan, was the 1999 Leavenworth Junior Miss. For Harris, becoming the Junior Miss fulfilled a longtime dream.
"For as long as I can remember, I thought it would be wonderful," she said. "It was a dream come true. I am unbelievably happy."
DYWL Chairman, Rhona Baron, felt the judging was very close, especially after a half hour of deliberation, which is quite unusual.
"I think it was one of the strongest, most diverse groups of candidates we've had in a long time," Baron said. "The judges were very experienced and very thoughtful in their choice."
The 10 candidates were Mady Harris, Annie Smoots, Kyla Parkins, Julien Wilder, Gwen Larned, Brenna Barton, Liz Noland, Mailee Goller, Savannah Smith and Madelaine Stubblefield.
"Mady comes from a family of people who have been involved with the DYWL program for years," Baron said. "She told me, before the big night, she's wanted to be Leavenworth's Distinguished Young Woman since she was a kid. I'm really happy that her dream came true."
The first alternate was Madelaine Stubblefield, while the second alternate was Kyla Parkins.
Harris won the Scholastic and Talent awards, Stubblefield won the Fitness and Self expression awards, while Parkins was the Blossom award winner. Gwen Larned won the Interview award. Annie Smoots won the Community Spirit Award. Savannah Phillips-Smith won the Spirit Award.
Baron said the program went off quite well, and was, in her opinion, one of the best they have every done.
"The theme was Wall Street, which allowed us to play with the music, routines and props," Baron said. "The contestants were all outstanding. The audience was very engaged. It just came together beautifully."
One of the nicest parts for Baron, as a DYWL Board member, was seeing how positive the experience was for the girls throughout the year and into program night. There was not a sense of having lost, she said, even if a girl did not win a particular category. Everybody was a winner.
As a big rock 'n' roll fan, Baron loved the fitness routine to "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive. As the chairperson, what stood out was the quality and strength of the program, the young women and everyone involved in supporting DYWL.
Last year, there were only four girls in the program, while 10 competed this year. It did provide some challenges accommodating so many girls.
"Because the stage is so small, we have two groups when we have 10 contestants. In other words, two performances of self expression, two performances of fitness," she said. "It makes for a longer show. Also, bringing 10 girls into place, coaching and mentoring them through the growth process take more energy and dedication."
In her first year as chairperson, Baron had no idea it turned into a 40 hour a week job coming into the two weeks before the program. In the past, she has been involved in choreography, music and other aspects of the production of the program.
Now she realizes the big commitment it is being the chairperson.
"However, I found it extremely rewarding. I feel like the young women and I grew a lot through the season," she said.
DYWL had big presence on Facebook this past year, she said. It helped people keep track of the girls through the year. It will also be a great way to keep up with Mady Harris as she prepares for the State DYWL competition.
Harris said DYWL has been a great experience with a great group of girls.
"We've grown so close. It's very exciting. I've learned so much. I have grown so much as a person," Harris said. "I am looking forward to going to the different parades and being an inspiration for the younger girls around me."
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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