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Miss Poulsbo / Miss Kitsap ‘06 crowned in glory

BREMERTON — On a magical evening filled with pageantry and salsa dancing, one of Brenna Gardner-Brown’s dreams came true as she claimed the title of Miss Poulsbo 2006.

Gardner-Brown was the first runner-up in last year’s pageant to Janna Murray and entered Saturday’s contest expecting nothing less than the crown.

“Right now, I’m so excited because this is what I’ve been working hard for all year,” said the 18-year-old daughter of Mathew and Rebecca Gardner-Brown of Poulsbo. She was joined on stage by her Little Sister Makenna Cardoza.

A huge fan of “The Apprentice,” Gardner-Brown told the judges one of her goals is to be in Donald Trump’s board room, so she can “show him what I’ve got.”

With her family cheering loudly in the audience, Gardner-Brown showed off her dance moves as she performed to “Lovin’ My Baby” from the musical “All Shook Up.”

With her platform as “Women in Leadership Positions — Promoting Awareness and Involvement,” she said it is important for people to lead by example.

“I think everyone needs to find something they excel at,” she said.

As part of her platform for the upcoming year, Gardner-Brown has already established a partnership with Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade and will be working with the North Kitsap School District to promote awareness and involvement by speaking with students from elementary grade levels through high school.

“I’m ready to get started right now,” Garnder-Brown said as she basked in the after-pageant glow illuminated by numerous camera flashes.

In addition to winning the Miss Poulsbo crown, Gardner-Brown won the Director’s Award, Ruby Waatland Community Service and Leadership and the Lolly Torrey Keith Legacy Award.

Before she passed her crown to Gardner-Brown, Miss Poulsbo 2005 Janna Murray said the past year has been a wonderful adventure.

“It’s really sad and bittersweet, but it’s time for another girl,” Murray said.

Heidi Nicks, daughter of Jim and Jill Nicks of Poulsbo, came in a close second as she attempted to add another pageant title to her resume. Nicks won the Miss Kingston pageant in 2004.

Singing Natalie Cole’s “Almost Like Being in Love,” Nicks shared the Director’s Award and Lolly Torrey Keith Legacy Award with Gardner-Brown before being named the first-runner up.

One of the things she has learned during the pageant process is to be true to herself, Nicks told the judges during the on-stage interview.

“It has given me confidence to express my mind and opinions,” Nicks said.

At the end of the evening, the three $1,000 Olympic College scholarship winners were announced and Miss Poulsbo contest Bria Trujillo, daughter of Julie Comnick and Tony Trujillo of Poulsbo, was among the winners.

Eddings sings her way to Miss Kitsap crown.

By CHARLES MELTON

Staff Writer

BREMERTON — While Kristen Eddings won the People’s Choice Talent Award for her soulful rendition of Judy Garland’s “Get Happy,” it was a prelude to an even larger honor.

The former Miss Poulsbo was crowned Miss Kitsap 2006 before a standing ovation at the Bremerton High School Performing Arts Center Saturday night.

“It’s been my goal for four years to be Miss Kitsap and this has always been a dream of mine,” Eddings said as her Little Sister Mandalyn Van Swearigen stood smiling by her side. “It’s even better because it’s in Kitsap County.”

After spending two months working at an orphanage in the West African country of Sierra Leone this past summer, Eddings, the daughter of Gary and Anita Eddings of Silverdale, said she now thinks more about water resources than she had in the past.

“I also think about food and the amount of hope people have in others,” she told the judges during the on-stage interview. “It was real incredible experience.”

As a result of that experience and her time spent helping a classroom of fourth-graders correspond with students in India, Eddings has made international education her platform for the next year.

In addition to winning the People’s Choice award, Eddings also won the Ruby Waatland Community Service and Leadership Award, the Living the Platform Community Service Award, the Interview Award and the Talent Award.

Eddings will compete in her second Miss Washington pageant later this year, where she was in the Top Ten and was the People’s Choice Winner in 2002.

First runner-up Sheila Spiker, daughter of Thin Spiker of Port Orchard, told the judges about her volunteer work as a foster parent for rabbits, including her latest one, Ralph.

“Ralph growls, scratches and really bites people,” Spiker said. “I’m trying to build up trust with him and he’s really come a long way.”

Spiker performed a classical harp solo, “The Little Fountain,” during the talent competition and won the Scholastic Achievement Award.

The second runner-up was Krystle Spoon, daughter of William and Tanya Spoon of Bremerton.

Other award winners were:

• Miss Congeniality: Haylee Ellis, daughter of Craig and Wendy Ellis of Bremerton.

• Golden Crown: Paige Emery, daughter of Merle and Jane Emery of Silverdale.

• Most Improved: Kasia Alexander, daughter of Mark and Jenifer Alexander of Bremerton.

• $1,000 Olympic College Scholarships: Ellis and Emery.

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