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Westchester Women Crowned In Pageants

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The 2013 Miss Westchester and Miss Teen Westchester queens were crowned Sunday night at the third annual Miss Westchester and Miss Hudson Valley Beauty Pageant at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

Brittany Smith, 15, of Ossining was crowned as Miss Teen Westchester 2013.

“I am very proud of her,” said Smith’s grandmother, Ruth Young. “She really gave it her heart and soul.”

Her parents, Nichole and Michael Smith, said this was her first pageant and she spent months preparing for it. Besides participating in the pageant, she also is a classical dancer and cheerleader, spent the summer interning and also volunteers in her free time.

“Brittany’s goal is to use her title as a platform to bring arts to schools that don’t have an arts program,” said Michael Smith. “She’s very passionate about it.”

Stephanie Bavolar, 15, of Scarsdale and Holly Roth, 15, of Armonk were awarded runner-up to Miss Teen Westchester.

Miss Westchester 2013 was awarded to Kristy Abreu, 18, of Yonkers. Runner-ups to Miss Westchester 2013 were Carolina Rodriguez, 22, or Mount Vernon and Sierra Bangari, 18, of Yonkers.

According to the Miss Westchester Pageants website, the purpose to the pageant is to emphasize excellence, achievement and personal growth for girls and woman who participate in the program. Contestants in the pageant receive various types of life-skill training, such as public speaking, interviewing technique and marking and business etiquette.

“We have so many beautiful girls this year – inside and out,” executive director of Miss Westchester Pageants Dee van Eyck said. “They are having a good time, they are giggling - it’s great.”

Also awarded titles were Jordan Decker, 16, of Pleasantville as “Miss Congeniality” and Loria Song, 23, of New York City as “Miss Photogenic.”  The “Pageant Spirit” award was given to Sarah Soltish, 16, of Poughkeepsie, the “Service” award was given to Leanne Pinard, 20, of Commack and the “People’s Choice” award was given to Sierra Bangari, 18, of Yonkers.

“I enjoy pageants for the overall experience of meeting the girls who have similar morals, similar goals and all have significant impacts on their communities,” said Claudine Williams, 24, of Yonkers, whose goal is to help provide more arts to underprivileged schools, as well as more science and math programs.

Each of the contestants was given part of a $140,000 scholarship total donated to the pageant by Future Star Studios of New York City.

“I think this pageant is phenomenal and the quality of these girls is great,” Future Star Studios President John Stepanian said.

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