Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Something About Mary

There's something about Mary.

That's what judges Patricia Visel Aungst, Scott Kemp and Genevieve Thompson decided tonight when they voted Mary Ciotta, a 17-year-old senior at Saline High School, Miss Saline. Mary joined 10 others in competing for the title during the Saline Community Fair. She takes home an $800 scholarship, $200 savings bond, as well as many other gift packages, certificates and goodies from local merchants.

I had a feeling as soon as the contestants walked on stage that Mary would win. She was among my top three, with a wide smile and an air of confidence, sophistication and friendliness about her. I thought Mina Onuma and Lauren Ferin also had good chances. In fact, I thought Mina answered the impromptu question the best. Video of all three, as well as the other contestants, should be posted on our Web site sometime Thursday, so you can see for yourself.

In addition to Miss Saline, Mary won Miss Congeniality, an honor bestowed upon her by fellow contestants. Lauren Ferin won second runner-up and Cindy Bruckner won first runner-up. Both are also given hundreds of dollars worth of scholarship money and prizes. Lauren and Cindy are also 17-year-old seniors at Saline High School. Lauren has a background in dance, piano and voice, while Cindy is 2007 Miss Majorette of Michigan and a member of 4-H. Mary was a top 10 qualifier in the Teen Miss Michigan Outstanding Pageant. There's no doubt her experience in pageants helped her win, as she had the poise and grace needed to capture the title, and will represent Saline well in the coming year.

I was impressed with the contest, which was well organized and entertaining. Taryn Hartman, Miss Saline 2002 and a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan, served as emcee. She did an excellent job. There's no doubt her communications studies at U of M came in handy. Also representing U of M at the pageant were the Harmonettes, the second oldest a cappella group at the university and one of two all-female groups.
They entertained the crowd with several songs before 2006 Miss Saline Stephanie Soisson expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to serve the community and the three winners were announced.

What an enjoyable evening despite the mosquitoes and late night as I head into deadline day with about two dozen more pages to proofread and several stories to edit before wrapping up our next edition.

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