Meet the contestants: 2012 Miss Virginia Pageant

Meet the contestants: 2012 Miss Virginia Pageant
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Meet the 26 contestants of the 2012 Miss Virginia Pageant, which begins Thursday at the Roanoke Civic Center.

Transcript of Meet the contestants: 2012 Miss Virginia Pageant

Meet the 26 contestantsof the 2012 Miss Virginia Pageant, which begins Thursday at the Roanoke Civic Center.THE ROANOKE TIMES MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012

Miss Apple Blossom Festival Kourtney Ginn Age: 22 Platform: Speaking out for the arts Talent: ballet Kourtney once sang during Mass in Saint Peters Basilica in the Vatican. Twitter: @kourtneyginn

Miss Arlington Courtney Garrett Age: 19 Platform: Defying disabilities Talent: vocal Courtney is fluent in American Sign Language.

Miss Blue Ridge Wanda Christian Age: 21 Platform: Living green Talent: jazz dance Wanda danced as Elmo at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Miss Charlottesville Dominique Quarles Age: 24 Platform: SPEAK: Domestic Violence Awareness Talent: vocal Dominique is a licensed insurance adjuster and certified pharmacy technician.

Miss Chesterfield Delesia Watson Age: 22 Platform: Communication 101: Creating a Lasting Impression Talent: vocal Delesia studied international public relations in London. Twitter: @deleesh

Miss Commonwealth Miranda Coble Age: 20 Platform: Teen pregnancy prevention Talent: jazz dance Miranda lives in a community service house at Hollins University that requires her to do 10 hours of service a month.

Miss Dominion Amy Bartgis Age: 20 Platform: Youth skin cancer prevention Talent: vocal Amy was born 2 feet tall and was 5 feet tall by the age of 6.

Miss Greater Franklin County Jessica Swing Age: 18 Platform: Beautiful Flaws: Confidence from Within Talent: tap dance Jessica is the first in her family to attend college.

Miss Greater Hampton Roads Courtney Meade Age: 23 Platform: Defining You: Empowering the Youth of America Talent: dance, gymnastics Courtney had a pet duck as a child.

Miss Greater Richmond Victoria Maiden Age: 21 Platform: Beating the Odds: A Living Miracle Talent: baton twirling Victoria and her twin sister were born on Valentines Day. Twitter: @victoriatwirls

Miss Greater Springfield Blaire Borum Age: 22 Platform: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome awareness Talent: vocal Blaire modeled in a Macys fashion show that was hosted by a judge from Americas Next Top Model.

Miss Hampton-Newport News Phyllicia Whittingham Age: 23 Platform: Volunteer for life Talent: piano Phyllicia is the proud driver of a 12-year-old Volkswagen Beetle named Frannie. Twitter: @MissHNN2012

Miss Hanover Autumn Struhar Age: 19 Platform: Traumatic Brain Injury awareness Talent: vocal Autumn spent time at nursing homes singing, playing Bingo and giving manicures to residents.

Miss Hill City Maggie Lawson Age: 21 Platform: STOP: Stand Tall Over Predators Talent: vocal Maggie is SCUBA certified and once swam in an aquarium with six species of sharks. Twitter: @maggieclawson

Miss Lynchburg Amanda Miller Age: 23 Platform: Every Beat Counts: Heart Health Awareness Talent: ballet Amanda climbed part of the Great Wall of China.

Miss Mountain Empire Elizabeth Robinette Age: 23 Platform: Breast cancer awareness Talent: jazz dance Elizabeth lives on a farm that has been in her family for more than 100 years.

Miss Norfolk Shelby Smith Age: 19 Platform: Erase the Stigma: Mental Health Awareness Talent: vocal Shelby studies American Shotokan Karate.

Miss Norfolk State University Ashlee White Age: 22 Platform: Dance for love Talent: jazz dance Ashlee has met President Obama.

Miss Northern Virginia Elizabeth Martin Age: 20 Platform: Mentoring children Talent: vocal Elizabeth hopes to get a job as a princess in Disney World.

Miss Peninsula Desiree Williams Age: 23 Platform: Fit and Fun! Talent: piano Desiree spent six weeks in China studying language, health and traditional Chinese medicine. Twitter: @MissHU2010

Miss Piedmont Region Bridget Lundberg Age: 22 Platform: The Big Cover Up: The Myths and Truths About Skin Cancer Talent: jazz dance Bridget is paying for her education at Christopher Newport University on her own.

Miss Portsmouth Seawall Madeleine Raiford Age: 21 Platform: The Safe Streets Initiative Talent: piano, vocal Madeleine won first place for her age group in a triathlon. Twitter: @madeleineAR

Miss Roanoke Valley Rosemary Willis Age: 21 Platform: Get moving today for a healthier tomorrow Talent: vocal Rosemary has traveled to Ukraine three times to help in orphanages, hospitals and childrens camps. Twitter: @rgdubs the pageant online for free at www. Voting: To vote for your favorite contestant, go to www.missva. com. Voting is unlimited and costs 99 cents per vote. Voting is open until 10 p.m. Friday. Voting does not affect judges scores, but the contestant who receives the most votes will become a Top 11 finalist and receive a Peoples Choice scholarship. Live tweeting: The Roanoke Times will be live-tweeting from Miss Virginia events later this week. Follow the Twitter feed @ rketimeslive and tweet using hashtag #missva

Miss Smith Mountain Lake Katelyn Dockery Age: 20 Platform: Teen and young adult suicide prevention Talent: vocal Katelyn is part of a prison ministry.

Miss Virginia Beach Elissa Taylor Age: 22 Platform: Juvenile diabetes awareness and support Talent: vocal Elissa was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 10 months old.

2012 Miss Virginia PageantWhen: Preliminary competitions at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, finale at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Where: Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre Tickets: Thursday and Friday tickets are $35 each night. Saturday tickets are $45. Info: Buy tickets at the Roanoke Civic Center box office; 877-482-8496; Watch: The finale will air live on WSET (Channel 13) at 9 p.m. Saturday. Watch all three nights of

MORE INSIDEMiss Virginia pageant continues to take cues from popular reality TV shows to make itself more appealing to younger audiences. Page 6

Miss Virginia Dogwood Ashna Sharan Age: 21 Platform: Domestic violence awareness Talent: Indian Bollywood dance Ashna speaks English, Spanish and Hindi.

Gymkana, the University of Maryland acrobatic group that appeared on NBCs Americas Got Talent, will perform during the Miss Virginia Pageant.