The Miss New Jersey Scholarship Pageant wrapped up another outstanding run in Ocean City on Saturday night as Brenna Weick of Mantual, Gloucester County was crowned the new Miss New Jersey. The graduate of High Point University will compete in the nationally-televised Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, Sept. 11.
It was the 22nd straight year Ocean City played host to the festivities, which included the parade on Wednesday night, preliminaries Thursday and Friday, and the finals on Saturday. Karen Rodgers of 6ABC in Philadelphia was the emcee and a packed Music Pier audience looked on for the Finals as Miss New Jersey 2015 Lindsey Giannini relinquished her crown.
The crowd erupted in cheers as Weick was announced as the winner with Olivia Michael, Miss Central Coast and a resident of Tenafly, took the runner-up honors.
More than a so-called “beauty pageant”, the event showcases the accomplishments and talents of the 30 contestants from across the state and awards scholarships from the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation. The contestants also advocate their “platforms” which include charities, causes and topics they are passionate about.
Local contestants included Kennedy Stillman-Fath, Miss Atlantic County and a resident of Somers Point; Alyssa Sullivan, Miss Atlantic Shores and a resident of Cape May; Kaitlyn Schoeffel, Miss Avalon and a resident of Egg Harbor Twp., Devon Vanderslice, Miss Cape May County from Ocean City; Devan Fogarty, Miss Cape Resort of Marmora; Madison Leigh Kennelly, Miss Columbus Day of Tuckahoe; Myra McCann, Miss Eastern Shore and a resident of Ocean City; Dana Piccoli, Miss Middlesex, a resident of Beesley Point; Amanda Rae Ross, Miss Monmouth County and a resident of Galloway; Jessica Indio, Miss Ramapo Valley and a resident of Hammonton; and Ashlyn Laveson, Miss Tri County, a resident of Ventnor.
Other top five finishers were Schoeffel, second runner-up; Ross, third runner-up; and Vanderslice, fourth runner-up.
Committee Chairpeople included Cynthia Dougherty (merchandise), Karen Mahar, (parade), Marie Nicholes (judges), Bernadette Strecker, (hospitality), Gregory Love (security and logistics), Jill Horner (prep team), John Oliveri (golf outing), Liz Puro (program book), Nicole Tepedino (media relations), Ashley Schaffer-McDermott (orientation), Lindsey Petrosh-Delia (contestant recruitment).
The Ocean City Music Pier Staff proved up to the task once again under the supervision of Larry Connor and Tim Beakley, and staff members Don Pileggi, Rudy Kinard, Mike Rosbach, Mike Dress, Andrew Wilsey and John Beebe.
Ocean City’s Public Relations guru Mark Soifer received special recognition for his years of service to the pageant throughout its run in Ocean City, which dates back to 1995.