Taylor Wall living a ‘dream come true’

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

KINGSTON — Taylor Wall describes her crowning moment at last weekend’s Miss Kingston Scholarship Pageant as a “dream come true.”

“I wasn’t nervous until the end of the pageant when it was out of my hands,” Wall said. “I’ve wanted to be Miss Kingston since I was 2 years old. I was in the Future Miss Kingston program in 1993, and I’ve performed at a lot of pageants and talent shows. I’m excited to be representing Kingston.”

In her triumphant walk down the runway to the cheers of the packed auditorium at Kingston Middle School, Wall followed in the footsteps of her mother, Brenda (Myren) Wall, who was Miss Kingston in 1985 and later served as pageant director.

Wall is joined by her new court, Princess Chloe Stamper and Princess Piper Sellers. The new Miss Kingston will receive a $1,000 scholarship and each princess is awarded $500. In the next 12 months, the three girls will spend much of their time attending parades, making public appearances and supporting community service.

The Saturday evening event was the culmination of three months of intense preparation for four Miss Kingston hopefuls: Wall, 16; Stamper, 16; Sellers, 16; and Samantha Stricklin, 15. Mistress of ceremonies Patrice Diehl opened the evening and introduced a rock and roll grand opening set to “Do You Love Me?” as showcased in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” The four contestants were joined in the production number by Miss Kingston 2006 Paige Woodside, and Princesses Amber Hoak and Felicia Genevieve Perl.

Then the auditorium darkened, the spotlight was struck, and the girls took the stage one at a time to present their talents in a “creative display.”

Stricklin, a student of Kingston High School, made her entrance in a pink cocktail dress to recite her original poetry. Wall, of Kingston High School, sang a country western favorite, “Tim McGraw,” by Taylor Swift. Sellers, a senior at North Kitsap High School, donned a suit and took to the podium to recite John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech. Stamper, of Kingston High School, brought her guitar to play “Sevillianas,” a traditional Flamenco.

Following intermission, the competition moved to evening gowns and impromptu questions based on each contestant’s mandatory essay. Stricklin, elegant in black satin, discussed her ideas for involving youth in the beautification of Kingston. Wall, sheathed in glittering apple green, encouraged involvement in Race for the Cure to raise funds for breast cancer research. Sellers took the stage in a silver, full-skirted evening gown to respond to questions on her platform of global warming awareness. Stamper sparkled in a dark and shimmery tea length gown as she reviewed her ideas for promoting positive change in girls’ lives.

Between competitions, the audience was entertained by the outgoing Miss Kingston, Paige Woodside, who performed an athletic dance with back flips and cartwheels. Outgoing Princess Hoak recited a self-composed poem while accompanying herself on piano with Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” Kimberly Steiner, who sang the opening “National Anthem,” also performed the Pretenders “I’ll Stand by You.”

Prior to the announcement of awards, the 2006 court made its farewell speeches, thanking sponsors, friends, family and pageant director Leslie Burns, now the veteran of eight pageant seasons. The girls then bestowed on each contestant a bouquet of flowers and new name: Rockin’ Rose Chloe; Solid Sunflower Piper; Loveable Lily Taylor; and Delicate Daisy Samantha. The ceremonies closed with the coronation of the new court and the announcement of the special awards, each bringing $100 to the recipient.

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