Twelve young women this year plan to transport the Miss Summer Moon queen pageant audience back in time — to the year Wapakoneta native son Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon.
The pageant is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. July 17 at the Wapakoneta Performing Arts Center as the 12 young women compete for the title of Miss Summer Moon 2013 and the chance to reign over the Summer Moon Festival this year and the city of Wapakoneta for the next year.
The reigning queen until after the pageant is Mindy Keifer, 19, who is the daughter of Christina Keifer and Jason Keifer. She graduated from Wapakoneta High School in 2012.
This year centers on celebrating the life of astronaut and Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, who walked on the moon on July 20, 1969, and died Aug. 25.
“This year’s theme is ‘One Giant Leap’ and the entire pageant is based on the summer of 1969,” pageant co-director Lyn Severt said. “All of the music prior to the pageant and most of the music used throughout all of the major categories are from the summer of 1969 or based on Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon.
“I think people should come because we have 12 girls — from an incoming sophomore to graduates — and their talents are amazing and they are interesting,” she said. “The whole entire night is a great show because Todd Utrup is doing a video on their community service project, which was Relay for Life. This year we also had a past judge from Troy who did a complete biography of Neil Armstrong that we are going to show after intermission and it is amazing.”
The video is approximately 5 minutes, and Severt said the judge’s biography of Armstrong is one of the best she has seen. The judge, who is a college professor, approached Severt and her co-director Phyllis Stoll because she was so impressed with the ladies competing for the title last year that she wanted to be involved this year.
The 12 girls are:
• Haley Aldrich, 17, who is sponsored by Simply Elegant. The Wapakoneta High School senior is the daughter of Kimberly and James Aldrich.
• Karli Schneider, 17, who is sponsored by LaGrande Pizza. The Wapakoneta High School senior is the daughter of Gretchen and Mark Schneider.
• Jocelyn Campbell, 18, who is sponsored by Superior Federal Credit Union. The Wapakoneta High School 2013 graduate is the daughter of Tami and Terry Campbell.
• Salon Gegel, 18, who is sponsored by Casa Chic. The Wapakoneta High School 2013 graduate is the daughter of Tammy and Mike Gegel.
• Chrystalina Collins, 17, who is sponsored by Carnes Cards and Gaming. The Wapakoneta High School senior is the daughter of John Collins.
• Sara Foor, 16, who is sponsored by Charmé. The Wapakoneta High School junior is the daughter of Anita and Mike Foor.
• Sean Huelskamp, 15, who is sponsored by G.A. Wintzer & Son. The Wapakoneta High School sophomore is the daughter of Marie and Scott Huelskamp.
• Courtney Fisher, 18, who is sponsored by the Dance Centré. The Wapakoneta High School 2013 graduate is the daughter of Cheri and Scott Wieging and Melissa and Glenn Fisher.
• Annie Henderson, 19, who is sponsored by the Bridal Emporium. The Wapakoneta High School 2013 graduate is the daughter of Tonya and Steve Henderson.
• Bayleigh Clark, 16, who is sponsored by Beer & Wine Depot. The Wapakoneta High School junior is the daughter of Erryn Clark and Jason Ott and Brenda and Jason Clark.
• Sidney Nuss, 18, who is sponsored by Gerstner Contracting. The Wapakoneta High School 2013 graduate is the daughter of Dean Nuss.
• Dusty Hoelscher, 17, who is sponsored by Mirror Image. The Wapakoneta High School senior is the daughter of Julie Hoelscher and Kim and Dave Hoelscher.
Severt explained the 12 candidates will compete in four separate categories — preliminary interview, platform speech, creative performance and of course the elegant evening wear.
For the creative performance, Severt said she and Stoll stressed the girls should do something original and unique to their individual talents.
“This year they all are doing something original and none are repeats,” Severt said. “There is a wide variety of talent among this group. We have a magician, a girl is roller blading and a seamstress to name a few. It is just wide variety of talent on display this year from the girls. It is fantastic.”
For the past several months, the candidates have been busy participating in many events such as a professional photo shoot with Rebecca Clune and Jeff Muller of ClouStudio, practicing their interview skills with area community leaders and most recently helping to raise close to $500 for the Relay for Life by hosting the Miss(ter) Relay Pageant.
The grand prize for this year’s queen is $1,000 in scholarship money with 1st runner up receiving $500, 2nd runner-up earning $300 and 3rd runner-up taking home $200. All scholarship monies are provided by the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce.