Monday, July 28, 2014
Todd Hagans, (704) 739-4842
MISS GASTONIA, GASTON COUNTY
PAGEANT QUEENS CROWNED FOR 2015
Four young women won crowns Saturday night (July 26) at
the conclusion of the Miss Gastonia Scholarship Pageant. The competition held at Stuart W. Cramer High
School featured 17 contestants.
The winners were Miss Gastonia Christina Benedict, Miss
Gaston County Mackenzie Church, Miss Gastonia's Outstanding Teen Payton Calvert, and Miss Gaston County's Outstanding
Teen Jessica Clifford. They will represent the Gaston region in the 2015 Miss North Carolina Scholarship
▪ Benedict is the 18-year-old daughter of Stephen and Elena Benedict of Belmont.
She is a 2014 honor graduate of South Point High School and plans to attend Wake Forest University this fall where
she will major in Spanish and chemistry with a focus on pre-dentistry. For the talent competition, Benedict
performed a piano selection titled "River Flows In You." Her community service is Habitat for
▪ Church is the 20-year-old daughter of Eddie and Daria Church of Kannapolis.
She is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill where she is studying to become a pediatric physician assistant. For
the talent competition, Church presented a tap dance to "Can't Hold Us." Her community service
is titled "PAUSE for the Paws in Your Life," and it focuses on proper care for animals and responsible pet ownership.
▪ Calvert is the 16-year-old daughter of Clif and Beckie Calvert of Cramerton. For
the talent competition, she performed a tap dance to "Swing." Her community service concentrates
on helping underprivileged children.
▪ Clifford is the 15-year-old daughter of Lisa Clifford
of Maggie Valley. She performed a dance to "Sparkling Diamonds" for the talent competition.
Her community service promotes the importance of animal rescue.
Other award winners
for Miss Gastonia and Miss Gaston County were first runner-up Ashton Laney and second runner-up Erika Duckworth.
Ashlyn Calvert won the swimsuit award and shared the talent award with Christina Benedict. Kaitlyn
Smith won the congeniality award.
In the Outstanding Teen competition, Mollie Hollifield was
the first runner-up and tied for the talent award with Payton Calvert. Jessica Clifford won the physical
The pageant theme was "Time to Celebrate," and the show featured the
contestants competing in talent, interview, swimsuit/fitness, and evening wear categories. A highlight
was a guest appearance by the reigning Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall, who will represent the state in September at the
Miss America pageant.
Young women ages 17-24 who live, work or attend school within a 100-mile
radius of Gastonia were eligible for the Miss Gastonia Scholarship Pageant. The Outstanding Teen competition
was open to girls ages 13-16 from across the state.
More than $59,000 in cash and in-kind scholarships were
made available to the contestants. Belmont Abbey College, Cleveland Community College, Gardner-Webb University,
Gaston College, and Paul Mitchell - The School in Gastonia provided in-kind scholarships.
The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association sponsored the pageant. For more information, visit www.missgastoniapageant.com.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Todd Hagans, (704) 739-4842
CONTESTANTS TAKE THE STAGE SATURDAY
FOR MISS GASTONIA SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT
young women vie for Gastonia, Gaston County crowns
Seventeen young women take the stage Saturday, July 26 for
the annual Miss Gastonia Scholarship Pageant. The competition begins at 6:00 p.m. at Stuart W. Cramer High
School, 101 Lakewood Road, Belmont.
The contestants will compete in interview, talent, swimsuit/fitness, and
evening wear categories. Four queens will be crowned – Miss Gastonia, Miss Gaston County, Miss Gastonia’s
Outstanding Teen, and Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen. The winners will make public appearances,
promote community service, and represent the Gaston region in the 2015 Miss North Carolina competition.
$20.00 and will be available at the door. The public is invited. The theme is “Time
to Celebrate,” and the pageant features the reigning Miss Gastonia Lyndsey Stephens, Miss Gastonia’s Outstanding
Teen Jordan Adcox, Miss Gaston County Rachel Abernathy, and Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen Hannah Seagle.
This year’s pageant is being staged at the new Stuart W. Cramer High School after calling Gaston College home
for more than 20 years. The college’s auditorium has been transformed into a multipurpose area and
is no longer suitable for theater-type productions.
“The new high school is absolutely beautiful, and it
is the perfect location for our program,” said Delores Cox, the pageant’s executive director. “We
have an excellent group of contestants this year, and we look forward to an exciting and entertaining show.”
Cash and in-kind scholarships totaling $59,000 are available to the contestants. Belmont Abbey
College, Cleveland Community College, Gardner-Webb University, Gaston College, and Paul Mitchell - The School in Gastonia
are contributing in-kind scholarships again this year.
The Miss Gastonia/Miss Gaston County competition is
for young women (ages 17-24) who live, attend college, or work full-time within a 100-mile radius of Gastonia.
Outstanding Teen is for girls who are ages 13-16 and N.C. residents – the teens are not required to live in a
The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association is sponsoring the
pageant. For more information, visit www.missgastoniapageant.com.
Here is a list of the seventeen contestants competing Saturday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m. in the Miss Gastonia
Scholarship Pageant at Stuart W. Cramer High School (names are listed in alphabetical order):
■ Sarah Ashley, 22; daughter
of Joe and Cary Ashley of Charlotte; talent is dance.
Christina Benedict, 18; daughter of Stephen and Elena Benedict of Belmont; talent is piano.
■ Ashlyn Calvert, 18; daughter
of Clif and Beckie Calvert of Cramerton; talent is lyrical dance.
Payton Calvert, 16; daughter of Clif and Beckie Calvert of Cramerton; talent is tap dance.
■ Mackenzie Church, 20; daughter of Eddie and Daria Church of
Kannapolis; talent is dance.
Jessica Clifford, 15; daughter of Lisa Clifford of Maggie Valley; talent is dance.
■ Abbey Collins, 18; daughter of Terry and Betty Collins of Morganton;
talent is clogging.
SaraLynn Currin, 18; daughter of Mark and Karen Currin of Bessemer City; talent is dance.
■ Erika Duckworth, 23; daughter of Eric and Lamina Duckworth of
Morganton; talent is clogging.
Scarlet Fretwell, 17; daughter of Mark and Robin Fretwell of Belmont; talent is vocal.
Mollie Hollifield, 16; daughter of Angie Hollifield of Bostic; talent is piano.
■ Ashton Laney, 18; daughter of Todd
Laney and Sharon Messer of Charlotte; talent is dance.
■ Stephanie Murray, 14; daughter of Tammy Murray of Shelby; talent is dance.
■ Katie Proctor, 16; daughter
of Allen and April Proctor of Lowell; talent is dance.
■ Sarah Propst, 14; daughter of Mark and Stacey Propst of Claremont; talent
Kaitlyn Smith, 20; daughter of Keith and Sabrina Smith of Concord; talent is vocal.
■ Michaela Wellmon, 21; daughter of Steve and Norma Wellmon of
Vale; talent is tap dance.
Click here for pictures of the contestants