The Rugby Preliminary Scholarship Pageant was held Saturday, August 13 at Rugby High School.
According to the Scholarship Organization, "The purpose and commitment of the Rugby Preliminary Scholarship is to promote young girls & women in our community by providing opportunities to develop skills in interviewing & communication, enhance performance capability, encourage a healthy lifestyle, & build self-esteem/confidence through competition. College savings bonds & scholarship dollars will be awarded to encourage the young ladies within our community to continue their education in preparation for their future."
A total of 18 girls participated in the pageant, competing for the titles of Miss Rugby, Miss Geographic Center, Miss Rugby's Outstanding Teen and Miss Geographic Center's Outstanding Teen. Four competed for the Miss Titles, four competed for the Outstanding Teen titles, and 10 girls participated in the Princess Program for ages 5-12.
A group shot of all the young ladies who took part in the Rugby Preliminary Scholarship Pageant
"The girls really have to work hard to earn their scholarships," Mandy Kuhnhenn, co-director of the pageant, said. "I like the purpose of this pageant because it's not a beauty pageant, it isn't about how you look. It's another way for girls to win money for college, and doing this helps to build their self-confidence."
Savanna Buskness (Carrington) won the title of Miss Rugby. Emily Simmons (Bismarck) won the title of Miss Geographic Center. Shawnee Kaseman (Wishek) won the title of Miss Rugby's Outstanding Teen. Jenna Johnson (Grand Forks) won the title of Miss Geographic Center's Outstanding Teen.
Kuhnhenn hopes that more girls from Rugby will want to participate in future pageants. "Some Rugby girls did participate, but we would love more Rugby girls to compete," she said.
Contestants in the preliminary pageant competed in the areas of talent, lifestyle and fitness, on-stage interviews, and evening wear. The fitness portion of the competition included a group fitness routine, an individual fitness routine and swimwear.
Miss winners received $500 scholarships and will go on to compete at the State Pageant in Williston for the title of Miss North Dakota. Outstanding Teen winners also received scholarship money and will attend the State Pageant to compete for the title of Miss North Dakota Outstanding Teen.