MOUNT VERNON — Rotary International hosted its annual luncheon for the Ohio Junior Miss contestants on Tuesday at The Dan Emmett Conference Center.
President Melanie Bolender welcomed the young women and Cheri Butcher, chairwoman of the OJM board, told the Rotarians about the OJM program.
“This is a year-round effort,” Butcher said. “We’ll be awarding $17,000 in cash scholarships, and helping make available to these young women literally hundreds of thousands in other scholarships. Ohio’s Junior Miss is searching to find that well-rounded young lady. They are judged on scholastics, talent, fitness, self-expression, and there is also an interview with the judges [on Friday]. But the audience doesn’t see the interview and scholastics [components].”
Because the 2009 group is larger than is typical, with 29 participants, half of the women introduced themselves to the Kiwanis Club at a luncheon on Monday. The remainder introduced themselves to the Rotarians by answering a question.
Audreyana Jagger, Fairfield County’s Junior Miss, was asked what her home is like during her absence this week.
“It’s probably much more quiet and calm,” she said, “without me running in, getting something to eat and running out again.”
Kate Dowrey of Warren County explained that she had learned something about the area.
“In Mount Gilead, there is the smallest railroad,” she said, “and it’s on the Monopoly board.”
Eastern Franklin County’s Junior Miss, Fatimah Green, was asked about someone she admires.
“My mother,” she replied. “She can handle a 17-year-old with ‘senioritis’ and a 5-year-old who thinks she knows everything.”
Stephanie Sparks of Southern Scioto County was asked for two adjectives her friends would use to describe her.
“They would say I’m musical because I sing a lot and I have songs that go with everything,” she said. “And, as much as I hate to say it, they would also say I’m bossy.”
In wishing them luck, Bolender also encouraged the participants to “consider being a Rotarian.”
Today’s events include a morning rehearsal, evening dress rehearsal and a luncheon at Country Club Retirement Campus. Following this week’s OJM events, the show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Memorial Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the main, downtown office of First-Knox National Bank and the theater’s box office will be open one hour before each show.