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June 18-20

Twenty five area title holders from throughout the State will vie for the Miss New Jersey crown at the Ocean City Music Pier Auditorium, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, June 18-20.

The winner will receive over $20,000 in scholarship money and prizes and will compete for the Miss America title in Las Vegas on Jan. 30, 2010.

This is the 14th year the event will be held in Ocean City. Pageant week kicks off with the Miss New Jersey Parade set for 7 p.m. June 17 from 6th to 14th Sts. on the Boardwalk. It will be led by Ashley Fairfield, reigning Miss New Jersey.

Contestants will dress in sea themed costumes and “show their shoes.” The Parade will also feature music, costumed characters and numerous floats.

Pageant preliminaries are set for Thurs., June 18 and 19. The final will be held on Sat., June 20 with all programs starting 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling Mary Lou Cake, 609-315-1423. A ticket for all three nights is priced at $95, the final on June 20 is $50 and preliminaries are $35 each.

Emcee of the pageant will be Dena Querubin Blizzard, Miss New Jersey 1995, a popular stand-up comedian. Michael Ciuffo will produce and choreograph the show. Featured entertainers will be Robin Fillipone, a first runner up to Miss New Jersey, John Zisa, a finalist in the American Idol TV competition and Brenna Weick, reigning Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen.

Contestants will be judged in talent, interview, swimsuit and evening wear categories plus an on stage question. They include Miss All-State, Jackie Mercandetti, Marlboro, a vocalist. She is a graduate of Wagner College and her platform is Volunteering; Miss Atlantic County, Krysten Gavigan, Cape May, a vocalist and student at Richard Stockton College. Her platform is Touched by Cancer; Miss Avalon, Kristi Pawlus, Rio Grande, a vocalist and graduate of Rutgers University whose platform is When Words Become Weapons; Miss Brigantine Resort, Kayla Ghanavati, Seaville, a vocalist who attends the college of New Jersey, whose platform is HOPE: Helping Out People Everywhere and Miss Camden County, Brianna Durand, Milmay, vocalist, Cumberland County College whose platform is Domestic Violence Awareness.

Also competing will be Miss Cape May County, Danielle Green, Ocean City, vocalist, graduate of Mount St. Mary’s College, platform: Go Green; Miss Cape Shores, Jachele Velez, Hillside, pianist, attending Columbia University, platform: Fresh Perspective on Diversity; Miss Central Coast, Nychole Hunt, Scotch Plains, vocalist, attending Montclair State University, platform: Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness; Miss Champaign Springs, Teena Amador, Manahawkin, vocalist, attending Villanova University, platform: Mentoring Education and Miss Columbus Day and Ashley Shaffer, Perrineville, vocalist, Marist College, platform: Enhancing Children’s Health Through Education and Support. Other contestants include Miss Coastal Shore, Katelyn Hope, Marmora, vocalist, Montclair State Graduate, platform: Bully Prevention through Education; Miss Cumberland County, Ashleigh Udalovas, Millville, attending Rowan College, a dancer, platform: Literacy, Read To Succeed; Miss Gateway, Carissa Palombo, Wayne, Monologue, Wayne High School, platform: The Queen of Hearts Foundation, Miss Gloucester County, Sammi Jo Danze, Thorofare, attending Rutgers University, dancer, platform: Ronald McDonald House and Miss Heartland, Angelica Nardi, Millville, vocalist, Cumberland County College, platform: Look Good, Feel Better.

Also competing will be Miss Liberty, Maggie May Sabota, vocalist, Elizabethtown College, platform: Lyme Disease Prevention; Miss Mercer County, Kathryn Berry, dancer, attending Fordham University, platform: HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness; Miss Monmouth County, Jeannie Revier, Howell, baton twirler, George Washington University, platform: Mentoring Our Youth; Miss Queen City and Gretchen Bruesehopff, Marmora, vocalist, Elon University, platform: The Importance of Music Education.

Completing the lineup are Miss Seashore Line, Chelsea Lee Ray, Williamstown, vocalist, College of New Jersey, platform: Action For Healthy Kids; Miss Salem County, Olivia Jennings, Carney’s Point, vocalist, Pennsville High School, platform: Anti Bullying and Building Self Esteem; Miss Shore Resort, Venessa Baez, Bloomfield, vocalist, Essex County College, platform: Encouraging Youth Involvement in Extracurricular Activities; Miss Stars and Stripes, Melissa Ruiz, West Deptford, dancer, Rutgers Graduate School, platform: Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness; Miss Tri-County, Kaitlin Davis, Millville, vocalist, Fordham University, Platform: Youth Enhancement Through the Arts and Miss Washington Township, Kellilyn Casey, Somerdale, vocalist, Rowan University, Platform: Operation First Response.

Of the twenty five contestants 14 will be returnees and 11 will be coming to the pageant for the first time. There will be 18 singers, four dancers, one monologue, one pianist and one baton twirler.


Photos of Miss New Jersey contestants are available at www.missnewjersey.net Click on Miss New Jersey Contestants and then 2009