Blackwell is Miss Audrain's Outstanding Teen 2018
Saturday night was a repeat performance for Cheyenne Parks when she was crowned Miss Audrain 2018. Parks, 21, was also crowned Miss Audrain in 2015.
A senior at the University of Missouri majoring in elementary education is student teaching at Oak Brook Elementary, in Ballwin.
Parks, from Washington, Missouri, is no stranger to Mexico. In addition to making appearances while she was Miss Audrain 2018, she also teaches at Janet's Dance Studio. "I'm excited to get involved in the community again," she said.
For her talent Parks performed a jazz dance to "I Want to Dance with Somebody."
Her platform is Involved Ability. "My platform is to get everyone involved in their community," Parks stated. She said that includes adults as well as young people.
Parks will compete in the Miss Missouri Pageant in June on the same stage she was crowned Miss Audrain 2018, in the gymtorium of the Missouri Military Academy.
As the new titleholder, Parks will receive a $1,000 scholarship, in addition to other gifts and prizes.
First runner-up was Aimee Stockard, who performed an acro jazz dance to "Let's Get Loud." Also competing in the Miss Audrain Pageant were Rachel Kimminau, who performed a lyrical dance to "Unbreakable;" Emily Gallup, who performed a magical illusion to "Butterfly Dance;" Megan Pennington, who performed a contemporary piano selection to "Whitewater Chopped Sticks;" and Avori Henderson, who performed "No Longer Slaves."
Pennington was awarded the Susan Gheens-Magnus Spirit Award for $100 in memory of former board member Susan Gheens-Magnus, who lost her fight with cancer in 2013. Parks won the award in 2015.
Taylor Blackwell, 16, was crowned Miss Audrain's Outstanding Teen at Saturday night's pageant. A junior at Bowling Green High School, Blackwell is active in school activities. She is a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA, Speech and Theater, just to name a few.
Blackwell is no stranger to the pageant system, starting out three years ago. "This will be my fourth time competing at the state pageant," she said.
Blackwell who has been singing since she was five years old, sang "Hallelujah" for her talent.
Blackwell's platform is Readers are Leaders, promoting the importance of reading.
As the new titleholder, Blackwell will receive a $100 cash prize, as well as other gifts and prizes.
Blackwell will compete in Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen in June, during the Miss Missouri Pageant.
First runner-up was Schyler Angell, from Centralia, who performed "Riptide" on the Ukulele.
Also, competing in Miss Audrain's Outstanding Teen Pageant were Jennifer Teel, who performed a musical theater dance to "Be Italian;" and Halie Hebron, who performed a tap dance to "L-O-V-E."
The Miss America Organization has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals throughout the United States. Each state pageant also partners with a CMN hospital. Miss Missouri organization is a CMN partner with Women's and Children's Hospital in Columbia.
A special moment during the pageant was when emcee Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis introduced Cassidy Rae Luebbering, 11, and her parents, Nathan and Renee Luebbering. "The first time I say this little girl, my heart smiled," said Davis. "There was something about her that spoke to me," Davis added.
Cassidy was born 10 weeks early, weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 15 1/2 inches long. She spent 51 days in NICU. Cassidy has had 13-14 surgeries and four in the last year within two months of each other. Cassidy has cerebral palsy among other health issues.
"She is my inspiration," said her mother. Renee Luebbering said she believes that without Children's Miracle Network, they would not be on stage Saturday night telling their story. "We were in the best hospital," she said referring to Women's and Children's Hospital in Columbia.
She also stated how much the contestants mean to their family. "They always run up to her (Cassidy) and kiss and love her."
Renee Luebbering said they try to raise money for CMN to give back for all the help they have received. She also encouraged everyone in the audience to donate to CMN.
In addition to Davis, Miss Audrain 2017 Danielle Patee-Merrill and Miss Audrain's Outstanding Teen 2017 Sarah Kasubke were on stage as well, performing, and assisting with on-stage interviews.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by Marcus Smith who played the piano while DeJean White sang "My Girl." The two also sang the National Anthem at the opening of the program.
During the evening wear competition the contestants walked under a MMA cadet saber arch, as they were escorted by cadets.