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    (THOMAS WALLNER | THE GRAHAM LEADER) Kodie Gough is crowned All-American Girl by 2019 All-American Girl Sarah Huitt during the 50th All-American Girl Pageant Formal Night Saturday, Nov. 6, at Graham Memorial Auditorium.

An All-American Crowning: All-American Girl Pageant celebrates 50 years

The All-American Girl Pageant lit up the stage for its 50th anniversary Saturday at Memorial Auditorium. The event allows area high school students to showcase their talents to the community and serves as a Graham High School Thespian Society and GHS Theatre Department scholarship fundraiser.

The event returned this year following a one-year absence due to COVID-19. The program began in 1972 by Jack Cody. Connie Carey was the first All-American Girl crowned in 1972. The theme for the event matched the first year with a trip back to the 1970s. Eighteen students participated in the event this year which were: Aubrey Thompson, Camryn Mills, Cristina Garcia, Elizabeth May, Esmee Villanueva, Gabriella Wooters, Hannah Hollingsworth, Jacey Gore, Jayden Harrell, Jasey Lawson, Jordan Redner, Kenadie Morrison, Kodie Gough, Marissa Clay, Marissa Hazelton, Rylee Ranger, Shaylynn Meeks and Sara Peyton Dospapas.

“We are so excited. I have had so many young ladies just really excited because they wanted the opportunity to do it last year and, of course, it just wasn’t safe so this year things are hopefully a lot better in the community as far as COVID and it’s just really nice to be able to be back in person and back on stage,” GHS Theatre Director and All-American Girl Program Coordinator Katie Huitt said to The Graham Leader in a previous interview. “I will tell you our participants are really excited about it and (the) thespians and our thespian society, they are the ones that produce the pageant. Our president and vice president and all of our thespian officers all have a specific role in the pageant and they’ve been working already for months planning and coming up with just some excellent surprises and they have been so excited to get this thing off the ground.”

Kodie Gough was crowned All-American Girl by 2019 All-American Girl Sarah Huitt during the Formal Night Saturday. The finalists for the event were Camryn Mills, Hannah Hollingsworth, Gough, Gabriella Wooters, Kenadie Morrison and Elizabeth May. The Miss Congeniality award, which is voted on by all of the contestants within the pageant, went to Marissa Hazelton. Camryn Mills was named Talent Winner and Hannah Hollingsworth was named First Runner Up.

For the rest of the story, see the Nov. 10 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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