By Ed Scherer-Berry
BOURBON – “Game On” was the theme of the 49th Triton Junior Miss Program held Saturday night at the Triton High School auditorium. Crowned 2013 Junior Miss was Breanna Sue Lemler, daughter of Tim and Melinda Lemler.
The evening was well planned and rehearsed and effectively presented by sixth-year Master of Ceremonies Kevin Boyer and 2012 Junior Miss Kendall Mason. Mason, an accomplished dancer, performed both a jazz dance and a lyrical dance during the course of the program.
The evening began with a group number choreographed by Junior Miss secretary Whitney Ambrose.
Following introduction of the contestants and the judges, participants competed in the self-expression segment. Each was asked to respond to the question, “What famous woman do you admire most and why?” Answers were thoughtful and appropriate, and gave the audience and the judges a sense of each contestant’s ability to communicate in front of a large group. At the ending awards presentation, the award for self-expression went to Paige Rylee Ullery, daughter of Hank and Sheila Ullery, and consisted of a $200 scholarship.
Next up was the talent presentation. Two contestants sang: Brittney Nicole Frenger, daughter of Jeannette Racolta and Adam and Mary Frenger, sang to “Summer Girl,” while “Don’t Rain on My Parade” was rendered by Brianna Kelsey Trowbridge, daughter of Kristine Taylor and Scott Trowbridge.
Variety was evident in the program as Tyra Wynter Kehaulani Frakes danced a hula reflecting her Hawaiian heritage. Her parents are Jennifer and Ed Ashcraft and Kevin Frakes. Lemler offered a basketball dribble demonstration. “All That Jazz” was the accompaniment for a jazz dance performed by Marissa Kelley Ross, daughter of Bob and Kelley Ross. Another dance performance was the “Evolution of Dance” by Ullery. An entirely different piece was the comedy skit “The Janitor” by Tim and Tonia Tillotson’s daughter Trishton Sue Tillotson. The $200 scholarship award for best talent went to Lemler.
The final segment before the intermission was the fitness presentation, in which all contestants participated both simultaneously and individually to allow the judges to rate their fitness level. The $200 scholarship award was given to Lemler.
During intermission, the audience could purchase refreshments, with the proceeds going to the Junior Miss fund. Also, a unique opportunity was continued from last year, as long tables were available with note cards and pens. Audience members were encouraged to write a note to participants of their choice, which were then delivered backstage to encourage the contestants.
The second half of the evening began with a special presentation to two long-time workers who are retiring from Junior Miss following tonight’s program. They are Deb Young and Becky Hayes.
A light, comic element was introduced as the traditional “Junior Mister” was named from among the senior men participating. Humorous competitive events were conducted along the lines of the TV show “Minute to Win It.” At one point, the men had to balance an egg on the tip of a football. Then, they had to unroll rolls of toilet paper quickly. The audience favorite seemed to be picking up cotton balls by using Vaseline smeared on their noses. After all the fun, all the contestants were eliminated except Drew Fleagle, who then became 2013’s “Junior Mister.”
The program drew to a close as Kendall Mason took her final walk and the MC announced the evening’s awards. First Runner-Up, receiving a $500 scholarship, was Brittney Frenger. Second Runner-Up was Marissa Ross. In addition to the awards mentioned above, Ross was recognized for selling the most tickets to the program. Lemler received the $200 scholastic achievement award, and Tillotson was awarded the $100 scholarship for Spirit of Junior Miss, an honor voted on by the contestants. Each participant who did not receive one of the above awards was granted a $50 scholarship.
Lemler, as Triton Junior Miss, will now compete in the statewide Distinguished Young Women program. There are now only fourteen Junior Miss programs in the state. The Triton event has maintained its strength and consistency since 1964, and will celebrate its 50th Anniversary next year. All Triton Junior Miss winners are still alive with the exception of the first Junior Miss, Jean Ann Gottschalk, who died recently.
The Triton program is presented by over fifty volunteers. Co-leaders of the group are Tammy Sauer, president, and Kristen Hoffer, vice president. Besides Secretary Ambrose, the other officer is Lindsey McIntyre, treasurer.
As distinguished from “beauty pageants,” Triton Junior Miss is a scholarship program which is supported by numerous local businesses and individuals.