Viki Muench | Staff Reporter
November 12, 2014; 11:15 a.m.
Sparkly chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, the clicking sound of numerous high heels and a glaring sight of beautiful bedazzled dresses filled up the stage of Lindenwood’s Scheidegger Center for the Arts this past weekend. The annual 2015 Miss Missouri USA and Miss Missouri Teen USA beauty pageant took place to find new queens to take the crown this year.
About one hundred girls competed for the title throughout the weekend. The pageant started off on Saturday with the presentation show, where each contestant was able to score points during preliminary swimsuit and gown competitions. The best sixteen girls then moved on to the next round on Sunday, which consisted of the semifinal swimsuit and gown parades. The final five girls had the chance to wow the judges during the interview portion, where they had to answer three questions about any random topic.
Sedalia-based Christina Stratten was able to convince the judges with her answers about which disease she would cure first if she could. “I would definitely cure pediatric cancer. My cousin suffered from it and I think it is important that we raise more awareness of this disease.”
Later that evening, the 15-year old won the title of Miss Missouri Teen USA 2015 and felt very blessed to be given this opportunity. “I am still so scatter-brained, I don’t remember the final moment at all to be honest. When I became the first runner-up last year, I knew I wanted to come back. So I worked hard all year and I am happy that my dream finally became true. I am so humbled.”
Rebecca Dunn, who was representing Columbia and placed 4th runner up last year, stuck out to the judges the most when she was asked how somebody could make a difference. “There are many many ways someone can make a difference in the world. I think the most important thing is finding your true passion. If you find passion, you prosper and become the best version of yourself, and people look up to you,” said Dunn.
Her overall performance throughout the entire weekend convinced the judge panel the most and made her win the desired title of Miss Missouri USA 2015. After a three hour long show of showing off their best sides to the audience, the two successors were found and former Miss Missouri USA Erica Sturdefant, who is also a LU alumna, and her fellow Miss Missouri Teen Samantha Bowers handed over their crowns to at the coronation.
“When I participated last year for the first time, I had absolutely no experience. However, I had a lot of faith and put hard work into it to win the crown this year. I am surprised but also so excited, and I feel incredibly blessed,” said Dunn after she won the title.
“I actually have no idea yet what is in store for me in the future, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able support special cases like Orphan Care and I can’t wait to represent Missouri this year.”