Guy Ellis

The 2008 Miss Grand Lake Pageant and the Miss Grand Lake Outstanding Teen Pageant were both held at the GHS gymnasium Saturday night with two worthy young women crowned.

Emoly West was selected as the 2008-09 Miss Grand Lake and Sara Wiesman won the Miss Grand Lake Outstanding Teen title.

West hails from Edmond and is the daughter of Jack and Stephanie West, Jr. The 22-year old home-schooled product holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Oklahoma Christian College and is currently pursuing a Masters in Dance Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Wiesman is a 16 year old student at Tulsa Memorial High School. The junior maintains a 4.0 GPA and is the daughter of Daryl and Suzie Wiesman.

In all there were four contestants vying for the Outstanding Teen crown while six young women competed for Miss Grand Lake.

A crowd of over 100 people were entertained throughout the evening as the contestants participated in various stages of the competition. The young ladies engaged in an on-stage question and answer session, an evening wear presentation, an artistic expression in talent segment, as well as a swimsuit presentation for Miss Grand Lake and fitness wear show for Outstanding Teen.

Jeanne Whiteley, of Grove, has been involved with the Miss Grand Lake pageant for over 30 years. Besides serving as a co-director she was also the master of ceremonies.

“There are five of us that run the pageant,” said Whiteley. “The youngest is 63, and the oldest is 70-something. And we do it because we love the girls. The pay stinks!”

Cheno Kennedy has been involved with the pageant since 1984 and serves as co-director with Whiteley.

“We really are lucky that we’ve had some great girls,” said Kennedy.

The pageant has a strong history.

“In 32 years we’ve had a girl in the top 10, of Miss Oklahoma, 28 of those 32 years,” Kennedy said.

Jennifer Berry, Miss America in 2006, was Miss Grand Lake in 2005.

“We keep getting older and these girls keep getting younger!” Kennedy said.

“We’re very proud of these girls and we want everybody in Grand Lake to come and see them,” added Whiteley.

The reputation of the pageant draws entrants from across the state.

“The girls come from all over the state but then Grand Lake is a potpourri anyway,” said Whiteley. “We come from everywhere.”

“Ours is an open pageant,” Kennedy said. “Entries are open to any girl who lives in the state. Some of the other pageants are closed to certain areas, or even something like area codes, but we are open to any girl in the state.”

Both ladies were quick to point out that the strength of the pageant is due to many people and orginizations.

“We have a lot of advertisers in our program,” said Kennedy. “We get a lot of support from Grand Telephone and Arvest Bank and Grand Savings Bank. Those are our three biggest supporters.”

Whiteley also thanked the Grove schools.

“They let us use the gymnasium and they help us a lot in getting things ready,” she said.

Kennedy singled out one other sponcor in particular.

“The one that has been with us the longest is Grove Drive- In Pharmacy,” she said. “They are the longest-running supporter we have; they’ve been part of this forever.”

Outgoing Miss Grand Lake Damaris Pierce and Miss Grand Lake Outstanding Teen Sarah Kline performed musical revues between each segment of the pageant. Pierce sang a number of songs while Kline performed various piano pieces.

Past Miss Grand Lake Outstanding Teen title winner Kelsey Griswold performed a musical vocal and Sarah Klien, a former Outstanding Teen contestant, performed a tap dance revue.

Current Miss Teen Oklahoma Alisha Clifton was also on hand to tell of her plans for the upcoming national teen pageant in Orlando.

2007 Miss Grand Lake Keelee Bright also performed a vocal solo between segments.

Besides the Crown winners, each group received awards for other achievements.

Stacey Stevens was awarded the First Runner-Up prize in the Outstanding Teen pageant. Stevens and Wiesman were the co-winners of the talent portion of the competition.

Stevens, 15, is from Perry and is the daughter of Norman and Rhonda Perrry. Stevens attends Perry High School and plans to become a school teacher. For the talent portion of the contest she performed a jazz dance to the song “Gimme Gimme.” Her platform for the pageant was skin cancer education and awareness.

West won not only the Miss Grand Lake crown but she was also the winner of the swimsuit and talent portions of the pageant. West performed a ballet hybrid dance called “Fuego.”

Erin DeCoursey was awarded the first runner-up title for the Miss Grand Lake pageant. DeCoursey, 17, attends Tulsa Edison High School and is the daughter of John and Kathy DeCoursey. She plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. For the talent portion of the pageant she performed a ballet piece from Swan Lake. Her platform was healthy relationships.

Summer Diane Hill was a contestant in the Outstanding Teen pageant. The 14 year old attends Owasso Mid School and is the daughter of John and Lynn Hill. Hill plans to pursue a career in pharmacology. She performed a steel drum solo in the talent presentation and her platform dealt with developing friendships with the elderly and aging.

Alexis Banks was a participant in the Outstanding Teen competition. Banks is a 16 year old student at McAlester High School and she is the daughter of Dr. Brent and Rachelle Miller. Banks plans to become a pediatric physician. Her talent presentation was a tap dance and her platform dealt with healthy eating habits revolving around a strategy called “Eat Right Every Bite.”

Evan Tims was a contestant in the Miss Grand Lake pageant. Tims is a senior at the University of Oklahoma where she is majoring in elementary education. While at OU she has been a member of the Sooner Cheer Squad for three years, serving as captain for two. Tims, who was born in Altus, is the daughter of Terry and Barbara Tims.

Jordan Gaskill was a contestant in the Miss Grand Lake competition. Gaskill, 20, is a student at Northwestern Oklahoma State University where she is a biology/chemistry major. Gaskill hails from Waynoka and is the daughter of Rob and Patti Gaskill. Her platform was promoting service learning through education.

Sheridan Fulkerson was a contestant in the Miss Grand Lake pageant. Fulkerson, 17, attends Southmoore High School and calls Oklahoma City her hometown. She is the daughter of Steve and Lorrie Fulkerson and she plans to pursue a career in nutrition.

Michelle Bruffett was a contestant in the Miss Grand Lake pageant. Bruffett, 20, is a graduate of McAlester High School and is the daughter of Tim and Valerie Bruffett. She is a student at Northeastern State University majoring in accounting. Her platform was promotion of the American Heart Association.