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Jumping for joy

POULSBO – At first too stunned to move when her name was called as Miss Poulsbo 2002, Kristen Eddings then bounced upward in a series of vertical leaps of joy. Her delight in winning the crown was accompanied by thundering waves of applause from the large audience.

“I can’t believe it, oh my goodness, I’m Miss Poulsbo,” she said in obvious delight.

Eddings was selected Saturday night from a dozen talented contestants vying for not only the $11,000 in scholarships and the Miss Poulsbo title, but the right to continue in competition for the Miss Washington and possibly the Miss America crowns.

Heidi Bay was named first runner up and Miss Spirit of Poulsbo. Bay will represent the pageant in Miss Seafair competition this summer.

The field of 12 contestants dazzled the audience with the most diverse array of talent in pageant history. In addition to traditional vocal and piano solos, contestants offered a Tae Kwon Do demonstration, a patriotic salute from Lady Liberty and taught the audience how to tape a sprained ankle.

At intermission the enthusiastic audience buzzed with the same question, “How will they ever choose a winner out of so many talented, beautiful girls?”

Eddings, the daughter of Anita and Gary Eddings of Silverdale, is a senior at Klahowya Secondary School. She performed a classical vocal solo “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocceli as her talent.

A sign of the changing times, Eddings platform is school violence prevention. She explained her goal is helping every child “find their niche in school, so they don’t feel that violence is their only way out.”

Bay, the daughter of Erika and Michael Bay, performed a lyrical dance to “Last Dance” by Donna Summer. She also won the scholarship award for having a 4.0 average at Klahowya Secondary School.

The Mardi Gras themed evening included numerous vocal presentations by Miss Poulsbo 2001 Jeana Ostheller, the dozen third-grade Little Sisters, and former Miss Washington 1999 and pageant emcee Tina Willis Scott.

In remembrance of the recent national tragedies, a patriot salute included “I’m Proud to be An American” and “God Bless America” which brought the audience to its feet and many in the crowd to tears.

Other award winners included: fourth runner up, Maria Knox; third runner up Hannah Burbank; second runner up Megan Hornbuckle; first runner up and Miss Spirit of Poulsbo Heidi Bay. Hornbuckle also won the talent and the Miss Congeniality awards. Diana Myrvang won the people’s choice talent award.

The other pageant contestants were Tiffany Nygard, Chanda Marvel, Kiplinn Sagmiller, Sarita Solier, Hannah Cook, and Danielle Dietch.

Little Sisters were Breonna Brown, Jennifer Brown, Christina Demmert, Janessa Dowden, Graciela Molina Downie, Alisha Fleming, Laura Kelley, Maegan McClanahan, Kelsey Myrvang, Tarelle Parker, Ashley Rutherford and Catherine Sedy.

“This was the best, just the best pageant,” 85-year old Ruby Watland an original pageant organizer in 1954 and a driving force behind the merger of the Miss Poulsbo Scholarship Organization and the Miss Washington Program, said following the pageant.

“Of course,” she added, “I say that every year.”

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